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The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4 




(See note cm next page) 



Ramires-Jones Printing, Company 

Baton Route, La. 


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The 1921 volume of Louisiana Historical Quarterly was pre- 
pared for the press by Mr. Henry P. Dart, who succeeded Mr, 
John Dymond as Editor in 1922, after the latter 's death. He died 
without having published any of the numbers for 1921. 

September 15, 1922. 

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Vohime 4, 1921 


BOOTH, A. B. Confederate Military Records of Louisiana 369 

BAR. THE LOUISIANA, bv T. C. W. Ellis 81 

BILOXI BI-CENTENNIAL, by Andre Lafargfue 459 

CABILDO ARCHIVE^S. See Louisiana. 


Invocation, Rev. J. D. Foullces, S. J 7 

Opening Address, Joseph W. Carroll 9 

Address of Welcome, Gov. Luther E. Hall 12 

The History of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, Henry Plauche Dart. 14 
The Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, 

Charles Payne Fenner 71 

The Louisiana Bar, T. C. W. Ellis 81 

The Centennial Year, Joseph A. Breaux 106 

Prayer, Rt. Rev. Davis Sessums 109 

The Justices of the Supreme Court, William Kernan Dart 112 



I>ART, HENRY P. Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 255 

History of Supreme Court of Louisiana 14 

Indian Titles to Land in French and Spanish Periods 134 

Mazureau's Oration on Mathews 149 

Servinien's Case — 1752 290 

DART. WILLLIAM KERNAN. The Justices of the Supreme Court of La. U3 

ELLIS, T. C. W. The Louisiana Bar * . . 81 

FENNER, CHAS. PAYNE. Jurisprudence of Supreme Court Louisiana.. 71 

GAYARRE, CHARLES. Report on Ix)uisiGna Archives in Spain, 1850 466 

HART,W. O. Rights of Women in Louisiana 437 


JURISPRUDE:NCE supreme court LOUISIANA. Chas. Payne Fenner. 71 
KING, GRACE. Selections from Her Scrap Book. 

Fossils, Interesting, of Louisiana 130 

St. Louis Hotel, Old , 128 

Slaver, Last Captured 132 

Ye Olden Tyme 125 

LAFARGUE, ANDRE. Biloxi Bl-Centennlal 459 


Cabildo Archives, VI, Supplement to Emancipation of 

Marie Aram, 3.551 366 

Cabildo Archives, VII, Supplement to First Charity Hospital, 3.554 359 

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INDEX— Continued 


Cabildo Archives, IX, Passport to Ship "Apollo" 216 

Confederate Military Records, by A. B, Booth......... ..,. 369 

Courts and Lew, Colonial, by Henry Pf Dart'. .'...'... i. ....... i 255 

Dart, Henry P., Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 255 

Indian Land Titles 134 

Servinlen's Case— 1752 290 

Dart, Henry P., Editor. See Cabildo Archives, Records of Superior 

Gayarre Report on La. Archives in Spain, 1850 466 

Gov. Unzaga's Pire Ordinance ,. 201 

Indian Land TiUes 184 

Mathews, George, President Louisiana Supreme Court, 

by Btienne Mazureau 154 

Mazureau's Oration on, by H. P. Dart 149 

Watts' Discourse on 189 

•New Orleans Fire Protection, Spanish Period 201 

Records of Superior Council. (See below.) 

Servinien's Case — 1752, Henry P. Dart 290 

Spain, Allegiance to. Oath of 205 

Superior Council, Records of. Edited by H. P. Dart: 

XI 1727-1728 218 

XI 1728-1730 324 

XII 1728-1730 483 

Supreme Court of La., Centenary of 5 

MATHEWS, GEORGE, Panegyric on, by Etienne Mazureau 154 


MAZUREAU, ETIENNE, Panegyric on George Mathews 254 

NEW ORLEANS, Charity Hospital First in, 1736 869 

Fire Protection in Spanish Period 201 

PARSONS, EDWARD A., Stones of Reims 425 


REIMS, STONES OF, by Edward A. Parsons 425 

SERVINIEN'S CASE, 1752, by Henry P. Dart 290 

SPAIN, OATH OF ALLEGIANCE, by People of Illinois and Louisiana 205 

SLAVER, LAST CAPTURiED, Miss King's Scrap-Book 132 

SUPERIOR COUJ^CIL OF LOUISIANA, Index to Records. See Louisiana. 


UNZAGA, GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA, Fire Ordinance for New Orleans. 201 
WATTS, CHARLES, Discourse on George Mathews 189 

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The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No. 1. January, 1921 

The Celebration of the Centenary 
of the Supreme Court of Louis- 

Ye Olden Tytne 

Remembrances of New Orleans and 
the Old St. Louis Hotel 

Interesting Fossils 

The Last Captured Slaver 

Louisiana Land Titles Derived Jrom 
Indian Tribes 

Publif hed Qaarterly by 



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The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4. No 1 

January, 1921 

Entered to the second class mail matter June 6. 1917, ac the post-oflice ^t^New Orleans, La., 
under Act ot August 24. 1912. 

Subscription $2.00 per annum, payable in advance. Address, Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 
> Gabildo.New Orleans, La, 

Raniires-Jones Printing Co. 
Baton Rouge, La. 

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JOHN DYMOND. First Vice-President. 

BUSSIERE ROUEN, Second Vice-President. 

HENRY RENSHAW. Third Vice-President. 

W. O. HART. Treasurer. 

HENRY P. DART. Archivist. 

MISS GRACE KING. Recording Secretary. 

MRS. HELOISE HULSE CRUZAT, Corresponding Secretary. 

Executive Committee 

John Dymond. Chairman; Caspar Cusachs, Bussiere Rouen. Henry Renshaw. 
W. O. Hart. Henry P. Dart, Miss Crace King and Mrs. Heloise Hulse Cruzat. 

Editor Historical Quarterly 

JOHN DYMOND. Cabildo. New OrleanR. 

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Table of Contents • 

N ciij MK 4, No. 1 January, 1921 

The Celebration of the Centenary of the Supreme Court of 

Louisiana 5 

Ye Olden Tyme 125 

Remembrances of New Orleans and the Old St. Louis Hotel 128 

Interesting Fossils 130 

The Last Captured Slaver 132 

Louisiana Land Titles Derived from Indian Tribes 134 

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The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No. 1 January, 1921 


Supreme Court Room, 
New Orleans, Saturday, March 1, 1913. 

The Supreme Court of Louisiana met at 11 o'clock a. m. on this 
day in special session to celebrate the centenary of the organiza- 
tion of the Court. There were present on the bench his honor, 
Chief Justice Joseph A. Breaux, and their honors. Associate 
Justices Frank A. Monroe, Olivier 0. Provosty, Alfred D. Land, 
and Walter B. Sommerville, the Clerk of the Court, Mr. Paul E. 
Mortimer, being also in attendance. There were also sitting with 
the Court as its guests the following judges of the Federal Courts 
in Louisiana, namely, Hon. Don A. Pardee, David D. Shelby, and 
W. T. Newman, Judges of the United States Circuit Court of Ap- 
peals for the Fifth Circuit now sitting in New Orleans, and Judge 
Rufus E. Foster, United States District Judge for the Eastern 
District of Louisiana. 

The Governor of Louisiana, Luther E. Hall, the Mayor of 
New Orleans, Martin Behrman, Very Rev. J. D. Foulkes, S. J., 
and Right Rev. Davis Sessums, D. D., Episcopal Bishop of Lou- 
isiana, occupied seats just below the dais. Ex-Justice N. C. 
Blanchard and Justice-Elect Charles A. O'Niell were also present. 

Besides the foregoing, the ceremony was attended by the 
Judges of the Court of Appeal of New Orleans, all the District 
Judges of Orleans and many from the parishes, the Attorney 

♦Reprinted from Volume 133 of the Louisiana Supreme Court Annuals, by 
permission of the West Publishing Company. 

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6 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

General of the State, the City Attorney of New Orleans, and the 
District Attorney of the United States, the entire local judiciary 
and lawyers from New Orleans and elsewhere, and officials from 
all parts of the state. 

Edward Douglass White, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
of the United States, had been invited to the ceremonies, but 
wrote a letter to Mr. H. Gibbes Morgan, expressing his regret at 
his inability to attend. This letter was read by Mr. Joseph W. 
Carroll during his opening address. 

The invited guests of both sexes filled the auditorium and 
an orchestra furnished music. 

The labor of preparation for the centenary and the manage- 
ment of the same on this day devolved on an Executive Commit- 
tee appointed by the Court, Mr. Henry P. Dart, Chairman, Messrs. 
George Den^gre, H. Gibbes Morgan, J. C. Henriques, J. J. Mc- 
Laughlin, W. A. Bell, and Henry L. Favrot. 

Mr. Bell served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Pro- 
gramme, Mr. J. Blanc Monroe as Chairman of the Finance Com- 
mittee, and Mr. W. 0. Hart as Chairman of the Publicity Com- 

Besides this the Court created a committee of one hundred 
lawyers selected from all parts of the state to assist the Executive 

Mr. John Dymond, Jr., was Chairman of the Reception 

Mr. Joseph W. Carroll, President of the Louisiana Bar Asso- 
ciation, acted as Master of Ceremonies. 

The session was opened with the usual formality, and the 
order of the day was observed as set forth in the following pro- 


Saturday, March First, Nineteen Thirteen, in the New Court 
House Building. 

En Banc— ^The Supreme Court of Louisiana and the Judges 
of the Federal Courts. 

Invocation — ^Very Rev. J. D. Foulkes, S. J. 

Minutes — (Monday, March 1, 1813.) Paul E. Mortimer, 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 7 

Opening Address — Joseph W. Carroll, Master of Ceremonies. 

Address of Welcome — Governor Luther E. Hall. 

The Centenary of the Supreme Court — "The History/' Henry 
Plauch6 Dart; "The Jurisprudence/' Charles Payne Fenner ; "The 
Bar/' Thomas C. W. Ellis. 

Response by the Chief Justice — Joseph A. Breaux. 

Benediction — Right. Rev. Davis Sessums, D. D. 

The court ordered the several addresses to be preserved as 
part of the minutes, and they are published herewith. 

By the Very Rev. J. D. Foulkes, S. J. 
God of justice and equity, who didst engrave in man's con- 
science the natural law of right and wrong and didst promulgate 
its mandates and prohibitions in all positiveness by Moses on 
Sinai's tablets of stone, we thank Thee and we invoke Thee ! For 
ten decades. Thou hast been present by counsel and advice among 
those who in this State of Louisiana were elected to render deci- 
sions upon matters of supreme importance; for 100 years Thou 
hast watched the earnest endeavors of judges, bent heart and soul 
on finally settling grave questions for or against Thy command- 
ments: "Thou Shalt not kill;" "Thou shalt not steal;" "Thou 
shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor ;" for a century 
Thou hast given strength and courage to Justices and Associate 
Justices for the upholding or throwing out of decisions given by 
lower courts. To Thee we give our thankfulest thanks. Today be 
Thou auspicious and bless the efforts of those appointed to por- 
tray the glories of the past, the needs of the present, andi the 
hopes of the future ! During each term of the new century dawn- 
ing today upon our Supreme Court, may truth be ever the beacon 
light of our Justices ! May their judgments be ever like unto Solo- 
mon's, wise, prudent, and just! May their sifting of evidence be 
as accurate as that of the prophet Daniel, discovering the wicked- 
ness of the elders and the innocence of chaste Susanna ! When 
time dissolves into eternity, and the last assize is set up for man's 
eternal lot, may Thou, unerring, infallible Divinity, welcome to 
Thy eternal courts each and every incumbent of this high office, 
with that consoling sentence: "Well done, thou good and faith- 
ful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I 
will place thee over many !" So be it for endless aeons ! 

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8 The Louisiuna Historical Quarterly 

Minutes op March 1, K13. 
Read by Mr. Paul E. Mortimer, Clerk Supreme Court. 

The State of Louisiana : 

Be it known that on this day, to wit, on Monday, the first 
day of March, Anno Domini One thousand eight hundred and thir- 
teen, and in the thirty-seventh year of the Independence of the 
United States of America, the Supreme Court of the State of 
Louisiana commenced its session at the city of New Orleans. 

Present, the Honorable Dominick A. Hall and the Honorable 
George Mathews. 

Their Honors produced their respective Commissions from 
the Governor of the State of Louisiana, which, being read, were 
ordered to be recorded on the Minutes of said Court, and are in 
the following words, to wit : 

"United States of America, State of Louisiana. 
"William Charles Cole Claiborne, Governor of the 
State of Louisiana. 
"In the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana 
Know ye that reposing special trust and confidence in the Patriot- 
ism, Integrity and abilities of Dominick Augustin Hall, I have 
nominated and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
do appoint him a Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of 
Louisiana, and do authorize and impower him to execute and ful- 
fill the duties of that office according to Law ; and to have and to 
hold the said office with all the powers, privileges and emolu- 
ments to the same of right appertaining, during good behavior. 

"In Testimony whereof, I have caused these Letters to be 
made Patent, and the Seal of the State of Louisiana to be here- 
unto annexed. 

"Given under my hand at the City of New Orleans, on the 
Twenty-second day of February, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and thirteen, and in the year of the In- 
dependence of the United States of America the Thirty-seventh. 

"(Signed) William C. C. Claiborne. 
"By the Governor. 

"(Signed) L. B. Macarty, 

"Secretary of State. 
"I do certify that the within named D. A. Hall on this twenty- 
fifth day of February, One thousand eight hundred and thirteen, 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 9 

appeared before me and took the oath of of f ice required by the 
Constitution of this State and of the United States. 

".(Signed) Colsson, Justice of Peace. 

"United States of America, State of Louisiana. 
"William Charles Cole Claiborne, Governor of the 
State of Louisiana. 
"In the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana: 

"Know ye, That reposing special trust and confidence in the 
Patriotism, Integrity and abilities of George Mathews, I have 
nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate 
do appoint him a Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of 
Louisiana, and do authorize and empower him to execute and 
fulfill the duties of that office according to Law, and to have and 
to hold the said office witli all the powers, privileges and emolu- 
ments to the same of right appertaining during good behavior. 

"In Testimony Whereof, I have caused these Letters to be 
made Patent, and the Seal of the State to be hereunto annexed. 
"Given under my hand at the City of New Orleans, on the 
twenty-third day of February, in the year of Our Lord One thou- 
sand eight hundred and thirteen, and in the year of the Inde- 
pendence of the United States of America the Thirty-seventh. 

"(Signed) William C. C. Claiborne. 
"By the Governor. 

"(Signed) L. B. Macarty, 

• "Secretary of State. 
"I do certify that the within named George Mathews did on 
this twenty-fifth day of February, One thousand eight hundred 
and thirteen, appear before me and took the oath of office re- 
quired by the Constitution of this State and of the United States. 
"(Signed) COLSSON, Justice of Peace." 
Adjourned till tomorrow morning 11 o'clock. 

Opening Address. 

By Joseph W. Carroll, Master of Ceremonies. 

Your Honors, Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

The occasion which has brought us together this morning is 
not only unique in the history of the state, but is most interest- 
ing in itself. 

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10 The Louiaiana Historical Qtiarterly 

On this day, one hundred years ago, the Supreme Court of 
Louisiana was organized under the first Constitution of the state, 
the year following its admission to the Union. 

During that time this court, with its constantly varying 
membership, has honestly met its obligations to the people of the 
state and has kept the judicial ermine unsullied from taint of 
scandal or corruption. 

The courts of the state, and pre-eminently this court, typify 
order as against disorder, law as against lawlessness, right as 
against wrong. Under our system of government, they are an 
integral part of the foundation of the liberties and happiness of 
the people. With the Executive and the Legislature, they con- 
stitute the Governmental Trinity, which overlooks and safe- 
guards the state and its people in their various and diverse in- 

Our government is not only one of law, but of written law, 
and, in the distribution of powers, to the courts has been allotted 
the duty of construing and applying these laws to concrete cases — 
even that most delicate duty of annulling by their decrees the 
written law of the Legislature or the deliberate act of the Exe- 
cutive, whenever such law or such act runs counter to what the 
people themselves have lawfully decreed in their Constitution for 
the guidance and limitation of their servants. The courts may, 
in this sense, be said to be peculiarly the representatives of the 

It is proper, therefore, that the state, and the court itself, 
should appropriately notice this occasion, marking, as it does, 
the completion of a full century of the orderly administration of 

The people of the state, both those present here and those 
of that larger audience of the press, may well pause a few hours 
from the pursuit of their ordinary occupations, and give thought 
to their government, to what it means to them, their families, 
their property, that the laws should be properly made and proper- 
ly administered, and to their own responsibility for any short- 
comings in either. 

The layman is prone to think and say that the courts gen- 
erally are too far removed from the people, and that judicial 
decisions do not respond readily enough to the advancing ideas of 
the people at large. They forget that courts are established to 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 11 

administer and not to create the law. It is not for a court to be 
influenced by every passing sound, however loud or insistent. 

Precedent must, perforce, be the foundation of every stable 
jurisprudence, and precedent is a thing of yesterday and not of 
today. It would be neither wise nor just to measure the rights of 
today by other than the yardstick of yesterday, without fair no- 
tice to all— a notice which should come from the lawmaking power 
rather than the courts. 

There will be those who will speak to you of the bench, the 
jurisprudence, and the bar, and I shall usurp their time but 
little longer. 

Among those who once sat upon that bench, some thirty years 
ago, was Edward Douglas White, now Chief Justice of the United 
States. He and former Justice Blanchard are the only surviv- 
ing ex- justices. The court had hoped to have the former with 
us today, but higher duties have prevented. He has however, 
sent an eloquent message addressed to Mr. H. Gibbes Morgan of 
the Committee of the Bar, which I shall read : 

"Washington, D. C, 

"February 4, 1913. 
"H. Gibbes Morgan, Esq., New Orleans, La. 

"My Dear Sir: I am deeply sensible of the kindness of the 
Committee of *One Hundred Lawyers' appointed to make appro- 
priate arrangements for the celebration, on March the 1st next, 
of the 'Centenary of the Supreme Court of the State,* and much 
regret that I am constrained to say that I cannot give myself 
the privilege of accepting. 

"At the time fixed the situation as to the work of the court 
here will be such as to imperatively forbid that I absent myself 
from Washington. Moreover, as the duty rests upon the Chief 
Justice of the United States to administer the oath of office to 
the President-elect on the morning of the 4th of March, it seer 
to me it would be very imprudent for me to absent myself from 
Washington at a time so near the date of the inaugural cere- 

"I earnestly hope the commemorative ceremonies will prove 
worthy of the occasion, arid that they may serve to refreshen the 
memory of every Louisianian concerning the blessings which have 
been bestowed upon the state by the faithful discharge by the 
court of the great duties which rest upon it. Indeed, I trust that 

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12 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

the ceremonies may not only do this, but may serve to revivify and 
strengthen in the hearts and minds of all the purpose to sustain 
and perpetuate the court, and thus guarantee individual freedom 
and representative government by safeguarding the life, liberty, 
and happiness of all. 

"May I ask you to convey to the general committee my ap- 
preciation of the generous consideration which they have shown 
me by extending their invitation, and to accept for yourself per- 
sonally my warm thanks for the all too kindly and generaus words 
in which you have conveyed the invitation. 
"Always faithfully yours, 

"(Signed) E.D.White. 

It now gives me pleasure to introduce, for an Address of 
Welcome, one who really needs no introduction to this audience, 
his Excellency, the Governor. 

Address of Welcome. 

By Governor Luther E. Hall. 

Your Honors, Gentlemen of the Bar, Ladies and Gentlemen : 

I esteem it a very high as well as most pleasant privilege to 
participate in the ceremonies attending the centennial celebration 
of the organization of the Supreme Court of this state. 

A centut-y is a short time in the history of a state, as history 
goes, but on this side of the Atlantic the swift tread of a free peo- 
ple has brought forth a record of great accomplishment and pro- 
gress that has excited the wonder and admiration of the civilized 
world. The story of Louisiana — ^the pride of Spain, the hope of 
France, the glory of the American republic, and the mother of 
great commonwealths — will echo down the ages with ever in- 
creasing interest. 

Looking back to the days of Mathews, of Martin, and of 
Porter, and, recalling the part this court has played, no Louis- 
ianian need be ashamed of the record. It has not lacked great 
minds or rugged integrity or devotion to truth and justice, nor 
has it failed in meeting the vicissitudes of fortune or the diffi- 
cult and stormy periods of its existence. Perhaps no court has 
had more difficult problems to solve or more trying occasions to 
confront. Through its portals have come the imperishable prin- 
ciples of the civil law as interpreted and developed by the genius 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 13 

of the French jurisconsults, and its decisions hav^ had an in- 
fluence in the molding of the jurisprudence of other states accord- 
ed to but few other state judiciaries. A past so full of inspira- 
tion ought to make for higher ideals and wider standards. Re- 
trospection is vain if it leads to no reflection and affords us no 
promise for the future. 

Nowhere in the world has the judge been crowned as he has 
been in America. Here he has been intrusted with power given to 
no other man. It has been his province and duty to protect the 
independence of the three great departments of our national as 
well as state governments and to preserve the rights and liberties 
of the people. The people have bowed to his decisions and have 
honored him. They have forgiven some human lapses and ac- 
cepted some flagrant departures from the right as honest errors. 
In their hearts they have transferred "the divinity that doth 
hedge a king" to the judge, and marched forth satisfied with the 
general result. No man has so enjoyed their homage. Has he, 
the judge, in any measure lost this confidence and respect? This 
is a question which, at such a time as this, should arouse serious 

If a change has come or is coming over the people, there 
must be causes, and the members of the judiciary should seek 
carefully to ascertain and remove the sources of irritation. 
Judges cannot draw around themselves their robes of dignity and 
look on with indifference while the people complain. The per- 
manence of our free institutions depends upon the confidence 
the people have in the incorruptibility of their courts. It is to the 
courts that they must go for an interpretation of their organic 
as well as statute laws and for the vindication of their private 
rights. "In despotic governments," says Montesquieu, "there are 
no* laws, the judge himself is his own rule. * * * In republics 
the very nature of the constitution requires the judges to follow 
the letter of the law; otherwise, the law might be explained to 
the prejudice of every citizen in cases where their honor, prop- 
erty, or life is concerned." 

When the people believe that their judges, in the determina- 
tion of cases, consult the wishes of powerful political and other 
interests and not the law ; when they believe that their laws are 
iset aside or twisted and distorted by construction to subserve the 
purposes of such favored interests; and when they believe that 

Digitized by 


14 The Louisiana Historical Qtuirterly 

all men are not equal before the law as administered by the 
courts — ^then all faith in the established form of government will 
have been lost and new and dangerous experiments will be at- 

There is more light than in former days. Powerful rays are 
illuminating the innermost recesses of places of power in every 
department of government. Printed messengers are carrying 
into every household facts as well as theories. Where there was 
but one pen that could correctly analyze an opinion of Marshall, 
there are thousands today that can correctly tell millions of 
readers the full scope of a decree announced by any court in 
the land. 

"The fierce white light that beats upon a throne" is but as 
a candle to the searchlight that now throws its rays upon the 
bench. It penetrates the gown, the garment, and through the 
very bones of the man who expounds the law in high places. To 
live in this light and retain the love and respect of the people, and 
while speaking with authority to hold the loyal devotion of the 
past, a judge must have more than learning or talent or even 
genius itself. He must have manhood, broad humanity, sturdy 
honesty, and unswerving devotion to right and justice. Platitudes, 
pretenses of patriotism, and tricks of logic shrivel in this light 
like moths. These -cannot stand as law in the great forum of the 
people any more than in the lesser but more learned tribunals 
of the bar. 

While assembled here in good fellowship and in profound 
respect for our high court, now celebrating its centennial, let us 
wish each member of it good health and happiness, and indulge 
the confident hope that it will grow in the confidence and esteem 
of the people, that correct standards will always be maintained, 
that the principles of the civil law will be preserved in essential 
purity, and that our jurisprudence will answer at all times 
to the old definition in that it will be truly the science of what 
is just and what is unjust. 

The History of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. 

By Henry Plauche Dart, of the New Orleans Bar. 

In any historical survey of a court of last resort the subject 
divides itself naturally, as Csesar divided all Gaul, into three parts. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 15 

The committee in charge of this ceremony has, in this spirit, 
separated the topic of the day into the court, its jurisprudence, 
and its bar, and has assigned a speaker to each division of the 
general subject. The first subsection has fallen to my hands, and 
I shall treat as rapidly and succinctly as possible the constitu- 
tional, legislative, and judicial history of the court, with passing 
reference to the judges of the same. Of course, the limitations 
of time and a due concern for the rights of those who follow 
would reduce the tale to a most meager limit, and therefore I 
have been asked to present orally the substance of the topic and 
to preserve the manuscript for future use. 

Before entering upon the history of the Supreme Court it 
may be useful and interesting to tell the story of the two courts 
v/hich to a certain extent held the same position in the territorial 
period. Indeed, from these lineal predecessors of the Supreme 
Court that tribunal inherited certain judicial features and 
methods of procedure which may be said to make an umbilical 
connection between the two systems. 

I. The Governor's Court, 1803-4. 

The Louisiana Territory ceded by France was taken over by 
the United States under the authority of the act of Congress of 
October 31, 1803, which, among other things, provided that all 
the military, civil, and judicial powers exercised by the officers 
of the existing government should be exercised temporarily by 
such person or persons and in such manner as the President of 
the United States should direct, for the purpose of maintaining 
and protecting the inhabitants of Louisiana in the full enjoy- 
ment of their liberty, property, and religion. (2 Statutes at 
Large, 245.) 

Under this authority President Jefferson appointed James 
Wilkinson, General of the United States Army, and William C. C. 
Claiborne, then Governor of Mississippi Territory, Commission- 
ers to receive delivery on behalf of the United States, and on 
December 20, 1803, these Commissioners took possession of the 
country covered by the cession. 

In addition to the powers conferred upon the two Commis- 
sioners, the President gave Claiborne a commission "authorizing 
him provisionally to exercise within the ceded territory all the 
powers with which the Spanish Governor General and Intendant 

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16 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

were clothed, except that of granting lands.'' (Martin's History, 
Howe's Edition, 295.) 

Claiborne was a Virginian who had been admitted to the 
bar in Tennessee, and at this moment was about twenty-eight 
years old. Referring to his appointment, Gayarre says (4 His- 
tory of Louisiana, pp. 1-3) : 

"The immediate effect of that cession was to vest all the 
powers of the defunct government (a sort of Gallic and Spanish 
hybrid ( in Governor Claiborne, until Congress should legislate 
on the organization of the government of the new territory. Thus 
this officer, as he informed the inhabitants in a set proclama- 
tion, had suddenly become the Governor General and the Inten- 
dant of Louisiana, uniting in his person all the authority severally 
possessed by those two functionaries under the despotic govern- 
ment of Spain. Well might he be astonished at the strange posi- 
tion in which he was placed, for he, a republican magistrate, 
found himself transformed into an absolute proconsul in whom 
centered all the executive, judicial, and legislative authority lately 
erercised in their respective capacities by the superseded Spanish 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

"Claiborne's first measure was to organize the judiciary, and 
he established, on the 30th of December, 1803, a Court of Pleas 
composed of seven justices. Their civil jurisdiction was limited 
to cases not exceeding in value three thousand dollars, with the 
right of appeal to the Governor when the amount in litigation 
rose above five hundred dollars. That tribunal was also vested 
with jurisdiction over all criminal cases in which the punishment 
did not exceed two hundred dollars and sixty days' imprison- 
ment. Each 'of these seven justices was clothed individually with 
summary jurisdiction over all debts under one hundred dollars, 
reserving to the parties an appeal to the Court of Pleas ; that is, 
to the seven justices sitting together in one court." (Id.) 

Under this system it appears the Governor retained original 
jurisdiction in all civil and criminal matters, save as qualified, 
and also appellate civil jurisdiction over the Court of Common 

In assuming these judicial powers the Governor conceived 
that he was acting within the scope of his appointment. There is 
no reasonable ground for doubt the Spanish Governor General 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 17 

and Intendant had exercised, each in his own department, the 
same judicial powers in civil, criminal, and admiralty matters, 
and it is also true that they were the sole judges in their several 
courts. (Martin, 212.) These officers, however, consulted with 
and were advised by a legal assistant, who was, roughly speak- 
ing, an attorney general to the court. 

The commission from Jefferson clearly vested in Claiborne 
the powers that had previously been exercised by each of these 
officials. It cannot be controverted, however, that the greater 
part of the civil and criminal concerns of Spanish times had 
passed through other functionaries, and that in New Orleans par- 
ticularly the Cabildo was the court nearest to the people. (Id. 
210.) Although the Governor General sat therein or had the 
right so to do, the average litigant felt the influence of a number 
of persons thus sitting as judges and participating in final judg- 
ments. Under this method the dead weight of a one-man court 
had not fallen upon the litigant, as it now fell under Claiborne's 

Contemporary history proves that no other act of the Gov- 
ernor caused more dissension than this creation of the Governor's 
Court. Unfortunately Claiborne could not use either of the pri- 
mary tongues of the people ; indeed, it is said that at this time he 
had not acquired a reading knowledge of either French or Span- 
ish, nor does it appear that he was able to call to his aid any 
person having at once the languages and the professional skill. 
He has written of this experience that he tried to apply to each 
case his knowledge of law and his view of equity and justice. It 
is probable that the same complaint would have been made 
against any judge named by him, had he possessed the right to 
substitute a regularly organized court in his stead — a power 
which, under the letter of his appointment, seems not to have 
been granted. 

Considering that in its elements the Spanish rule did vest 
great and unusual power in the Governor General and Intendant, 
the complaint against Claiborne for exercising the same powers 
can only be explained by the factious spirit of criticism started 
by the French agent, Laussat, and assiduously cultivated by de- 
posed office holders and disgruntled land speculators. There was 
undoubtedly a reasonable ground of complaint on the part of the 
American element because they were emigrants from a country 

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18 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

where such power was unknown. The effect of these argruments 
was to create among the Creoles a feeling of fear and distrust of 
the American government, and all parties joined in an effort for 
a change. Public opinion was whipped to a white heat by mass 
meetings and discussions, in which every evil motive was attri- 
buted to the President, to Congress, and to the local officers. The 
act of 1803 was confessedly temporary, but its duration was 
shortened by these appeals. 

On March 26, 1804 (2 Statutes at Large, 277), Congress 
divided the Louisiana Purchase into two territories, and gave 
the name of Orleans to all that section lying south of the thirty- 
third degree of north latitude, on the west side of the Mississippi 
river, and south of the Mississippi Territorry on the east side. 
Besides providing for the appointment by the President of a Gov- 
ernor and a Secretary, provision was also made for the appoint- 
ment by him of a Legislative Council of thirteen "of the most fit 
and discreet persons of the Territory," and, most important of all, 
for the appointment of a Superior Court. 

The judicial power was vested in this Superior Court and in 
such inferior courts as the Legislature might from time to time 
establish. The Superior Court was composed of three judges, 
any one of whom should constitute a court, to hold office for four 
years. It was vested with jurisdiction in all criminal cases, and 
exclusive jurisdiction in all those which were capital, and original 
and appellate jurisdiction in all civil cases of the value of one 
hundred dollars. All capital cases were to be tried before "a 
Jury of twelve good and lawful men of the vicinage," and in all 
cases, criminal and civil, in said court the trial should be by jury, 
if either of the parties required it. 

The salaries of the judges were fixed at $2,000 per annum, 
payable quarterly out of the revenues of impost and tonnage ac- 
cruing within the territory. 

The laws in force in the territory not inconsistent with this 
act were continued in force until altered, modified, or repealed by 
the Legislature; and the act of October 31, 1803, was continued in 
force until October 1, 1804, on which day the act of March 26, 
1804, was to take effect and to continue for one year and until 
the end of the next session of Congress thereafter. 

By virtue of these provisions the Supreme Court, as Clai- 
borne called it, or Governor's Court of the Territory of Orleans, 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 19 

as it is known in history, maintained its existence for about one 
year, and until the Superior Court was organized on November 9, 
1804. The records of the former court were, on March 7, 1805 
(chapter XVI, p. 86, Laws of Orleans Territory, 1805), ordered 
to be transferred to the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court 
of the Territory. 

As changes in our judicial system have occurred, the archives 
of abandoned courts have been transferred from room to room, 
until finally no man was left who could remember the hiding 
place or graveyard of the records of the early courts. During 
the past twelve months a search has been in progress by the Clerk 
of the Civil District Court, assisted by a committee of lawyers 
appointed by the Judges, and records innumerable have been re- 
covered and removed to the Archive Room of this building. 

Among these records, and almost the last to be found, we 
have gathered a nearly complete file of the Superior Court of the 
Territory, and a few from the Governor's Court. Out of the lat- 
ter we have taken a case which seems to be a typical represen- 
tative of the practice before Claiborne sitting as sole Judge. This 
was an original suit filed May 23, 1804, by Anselme Coudrain 
against Jean Bagneris, to recover from a curator or tutor the 
proceeds of a wasted estate. It is in the form of a bill in equity, 
and was evidently drawn by a careful pleader in that system. Its 
caption reads, "In the Court of His Excellency," and it is ad- 
dressed as follows : "To His Excellency, William C. C. Claiborne, 
Governor of the Mississippi Territory, exercising the powers of 
Governor General and Intendant of the Province of Louisiana." 
It is No. 87 of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans, and 
was evidently removed into that court under the terms of the 
act just quoted. 

It seems from all evidence attainable that Claiborne exercised 
in this court the judicial powers of his predecessors and the usual 
authority of an American law court, and he added thereto the 
equitable jurisdiction of the English chancellor. It is doubtful 
whether any man ever possessed in this country so much supreme 
power, being at once the lawmaker, the ruler, and the judge of 
last resort. He therefore holds a unique position in American 
judicial history. 

Claiborne was a voluminous writer of diaries and reports, 
but this material is scattered and only a small portion of it has 

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'20 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

been printed. When the opportunity serves to rewrite the story 
of the Governor's Court in the light to be afforded by a study 
of his writings and the archives of the court, a distinct addition 
may be made to the sum of human knowledge. Until this shall 
have been done the historian must suspend judgment on the con- 
temporary charge of usurpation, ignorance, and maladministra- 
tion urged against that magistrate ; for he is, at least, entitled to 
the benefit of the presumption of law which attaches to the ac- 
tions of all officers. 

II. The Superior Court of the Territory of 
Orleans, 1804-1813. 

President Jefferson appointed Duponceau, of Pennsylvania; 
Kirby, of Connecticut; and Prevost, of New York — ^to form the 
Superior Court of Orleans created by the act of March 26, 1804, 
whose provisions have just been noticed. The first-named de- 
clined; the second died en route to New Orleans, after accepting 
and before the organization of the court ; and the third, John Bar- 
tow Prevost, accepted and organized the court in New Orleans on 
Monday, November 5, 1804. He was the son of a British officer 
of the Revolution, whose widow had married Aaron Burr, Jef- 
ferson's competitor for the Presidency and Vice President during 
his first term. At the time of Prevost's appointment he was 
holding a judicial office in New York City. 

The first session of the Superior Court was held at the 
City Hall in New Orleans, which was probably the American 
designation of the building now called the Cabildo, the generic 
name for the municipal organization under the Spanish regime. 

The vacancies on the bench were not filled, and Prevost held 
court alone until 1806 ; that is, until after the act of Congress of 
March 2, 1805, went into operation. 2 Statutes at Large, 322. By 
this act a new form of government was established for the terri- 
tory, to be modeled on the one then existing in the adjoining 
Mississippi Territory. Provision was made for the appointment 
by the President of the officers, who were to be as prescribed in 
the Ordinance of 1787 for the government of the Northwest Ter- 

An elective general assembly was created, which was com- 
posed of twenty-five representatives. The people were vested 
with all the rights, privileges, and advantages possessed by the 
adjoining territory, save that the Statute of Descent and Distri- 

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CenteTiary of The Supreme Court 21 

bution and the Sixth Article of the Compact in the Northwest Or- 
dinance should not apply. The act of March 26, 1804, was re- 
pealed in so far as it was in conflict with this act to take effect 
on and after November 1, 1805. 

No change was made in the Superior Court system, and the 
vacancies on that bench were filled by the appointment of Wil- 
liam Sprigg, of Ohio, and George Mathews, Jr., of Georgia, whose 
service began early in 1806. Prevost seems to have retired to- 
ward the end of that year possibly, as suggested by Claiborne on 
an earlier occasion, because the judge had a large family and 
could not support himself on the meager salary of the office. He 
practiced law here for many years thereafter. Joshua Lewis, of 
Kentucky, took Prevost's place in January, 1807. Sprigg retired 
in 1808, and was succeeded by John Thompson, of Orleans, in that 
year. He died in 1810, and Frangois-Xavier Martin, of North 
Carolina, was appointed in his stead on March 10, 1810. Judge 
Martin was at the time of his appointment serving as judge in the 
adjoining Mississippi Territory. 

We have no printed reports of the work of the court earlier 
than the fall session of 1809. Its archives had been lost — ^that is, 
no one knew what had become of them — ^but quite recently a 
number of its records were discovered under the accumulated 
rubbish of a century, in a corner of an attic in the old Civil 
Court Building at Jackson Square. These records have been re- 
moved into the new Court Building and are now being restored 
and arranged by the clerk of the last-named court. The student 
of the origins of our judicial system may doubtless find here a 
rich reward for his patient labor. 

Upon the accession of Martin in 1810 he was troubled by 
"the dearth of correct information in regard to the deci- 
sions of the court before his arrival," and he set about the prepa- 
ration for publication of the cases argued in his time and that 
immediately preceding his appointment. He added the instinct 
of a reporter to the experience of a practical printer. Th^ two 
erudite volumes (1 and 2 Martin, Old Series) which were printed 
under his supervision in New Orleans in 1811 and 1813 are still 
resorted to as authority. Indeed, they are a mine of the old learn- 
ing. The title page of both volumes carrier an extract from the 
instructions of the Empress of Russia to the commission which 
she created to codify the laws of that empire: 

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22 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

"Courts render decisions; these should be treasured; they 
should be circulated, so that the judgment of today will be as 
that of yesterday, and so that the property and life of citizens 
should be as certain and fixed, even as the Constitution of the 

Martin continued to publish the reports of the Supreme 
Court of Louisiana until 1830, and each title page bears some 
quaint citation of this kind. The committee in charge of this cele- 
bration has preserved one of these on the memorial now before 
you. It is an epigram from Cicero's oration in defense of Sulla : 
"Status enim reipublic» maximce judicatis rebus continetur," or, 
roughly paraphrased, "The welfare of the state depends greatly 
upon the respect for settled decisions." 

An essay might be written on the relation between these 
maxims and aphorisms of the law, and the substance and style 
of the literary matter of Martin's opinions. 

In the preface to the first volume Judge Martin announces 
convictions which we may well believe were also the opinions of 
his associates. They merit perpetuation here as part of the his- 
tory of our judicial system. 

Referring to the difficulties of their task and the small num- 
ber of the judges, and the remote places in which they sat, mak- 
ing it often impossible for more than one judge to be present, he 

"It has been indispensable to allow a quorum to consist of a 
single judge, who often finds himself compelled, alone and unaid- 
ed, to determine the most intricate and important questions, both 
of law and fact, in cases of greater magnitude as to the object 
in dispute than are generally known in the state courts; while 
from the jurisprudence of this newly acquired territory, possessed 
at different periods by different nations, a number of foreign 
laws are to be examined and compared, and their compatibility 
with the general constitution and laws ascertained, an arduous 
task anywhere but rendered extremely so here from the scarcity 
of the works of foreign jurists. Add to this, that the distress 
naturally attending his delicate situation is not a little increased 
by the dreadful reflection that, if it should be his misfortune to 
form an incorrect conclusion, there is no earthly tribunal in 
which the consequences of his error may be redressed or lessened." 

Feeling that the decisions might not receive elsewhere that 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 23 

recognition which older courts enjoyed, he modestly confines his 
usefulness to his own field, and as to this with equal modesty he 

"It is true that no judge in deciding any future question will 
think his conscience bound by the opinion of any one of his 
brethren or any number of them less than a majority, but he 
may derive aid or confidence from the knowledge of anterior de- 
cisions, the arguments of counsel, and the opinions of another 
judge in points on which he has to decide. In matters of practice 
he will at times conform himself to what has been already done, 
though had there been no determination he might have sus- 
pended his assent." 

It was fortunate for the new state that for eight years ante- 
rior to its entry into the Union men holding such sentiments had 
been in position to lay the foundations of its law. Two of these 
Judges, Mathews and Lewis, were of scholarly instincts and had 
been trained in the common law. On their accession to the bench 
they knew little French and nothing whatever of the civil law. 
Martin, considered from any angle, was a profound scholar. His 
legal mind had also been formed in the common-law field, but he 
had the advantage of the language of his birthplace (France), 
and he had, besides, studied the masters of the civil law con 
amore; indeed, it is said that his edition of Pothier on Obliga- 
tions was translated from book to type at his printer's case in 
North Carolina. This early American imprint is, by the way, one 
of the rare treasures of the legal bibliophile. 

The act creating the territory of Orleans did not in words 
impose the common law, and, on the contrary, left the Governor 
and Legislative Council free to prescribe in all matters not in- 
consistent with the enabling act. President Jefferson, however, 
was very anxious to bring the territory into legal harmony with 
the other states, and under his suggestion Governor Claiborne 
exerted himself to impress the common law in all its features 
upon the new judiciary. 

The territory was divided by the Governor and Legislative 
Council, in April 1805, into twelve counties, namely, Orleans, Ger- 
man Coast, Acadia, La Fourche, Iberville, Pointe Coup6e, Ata- 
capas, Opelousas, Natchitoches, Rapides, Ouachita, and Con- 
cordia. A county court of one judge was assigned to each, and 
contested cases were triable by jury, and their verdict was "con- 

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24 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

elusive between the parties as to the facts thereby decided." The 
judge decided all points of law on such jury trials, and provision 
was made for a bill of exceptions to cover the facts on which 
such question of law was raised and decided. See Laws of 1805, 
First Session, chap. 25, pp. 144-209, approved April 10, 1805, 
particularly section 6 thereof. 

By sections 16 and 17 of this act the right of appeal was 
granted to the Superior Court, on which appeal the case was 
to be heard on the original pleadings, but either party could 
produce new proofs in that court, and could also amend his 
pleadings "so as to bring the merits of the case completely before 
them," and the appellate court was authorized to "give such 
judgment as the nature of the case may require, and to issue 
execution thereon." 

On the same day, April 10, 1805, an act was signed "Regulat- 
ing the Practice of the Superior Court in Civil Causes." This 
statute and the one previously discussed are familiarly regarded 
as the lineal predecessors of our Code of Practice, which as- 
similated the elements of both statutes. 

In this Superior Court act the requirement of trial by jury 
became optional with the parties and the right was conferred on 
the court to grant a new trial whenever "it shall appear that 
justice has not been done." The court was also granted power 
to make rules for regulating the practice, not inconsistent with 
the laws of the territory. See Laws of 1805, First Session, chap. 
26, pp. 210-260. 

By the Law of 1805 (Second Session, chap. 2, pp. 30-31) the 
permanent seat of justice of the Superior Court was fixed in the 
county of Orleans, but the court was required once in each year, 
between June 1st and November 1st, to "go circuit" through all 
the other counties of the territory and the judge of the county 
court was required to attend the Superior Court in its sessions. 
The judge or judges going circuit were allowed $800 for their 
traveling expenses. 

By the act of March 31, 1807, (chap. 1, page 2) , the state was 
divided for the first time into appellate districts and five of these 
were created. The Superior Court was directed to hold sessions 
at certain fixed periods in Donaldsonville, Pointe Coupee, Rapid- 
es, and Opelousas for the four country districts ; while St. Ber- 
anrd, Plaquemine, St. Charles, and St. John were incorporated 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 25 

into the New Orleans district, and its appeals made returnable 
at that city. 

Under this legislation and its own rules, it Vas common 
practice in the Superior Court to try appeals by jury. Bayon v. 
Rivet, 2 Mart. (0. S.) 148, and Brooks v. Weyman, 3 Mart. (O. 
S.) 9. Aside from this peculiarity, the court seems to have 
found a way to review all the facts on appeal. The early rules 
have not been found, and there is little in the printed reports to 
explain the manner of bringing up the facts. Possibly the prac- 
tice of the time is reflected in the language of the new Supreme 
Court of the state in one of its first decisions (Longer v. Pugean, 
3 Mart. [0. S.] 221), to the effect that judgments would not be 
reversed or affirmed, but the appeal would be dismissed, unless it 
be shown "that the whole case is before us, or, in cases brought 
up on exceptions to the opinion of the judge, that the requisites of 
the law have been complied with." 

Mean while, the Legislature was busy with many features of 
law and practice, and by the time the first Constitution of the 
state was framed most of the familiar things in our law and 
practice had been created or were in process of development. A 
comparison of Martin's two volumes of Territorial Reports with 
these contemporary statutes from 1804 to 1812 will show that the 
court was equally impregnated with the new ideas. The most 
important development of the era was, of course, the Digest of the 
Civil Law, or first Civil Code of Louisiana, which was adopted, 
after much opposition, by the Legislature of the territory. Chap- 
ter 29, pages 120-128, of the Laws of 1808. This work was the 
frame upon which we later builded the Civil Code of 1825. The 
Code of 1805 confirmed the civil law as the fundamental prin- 
ciple of our jurisprudence, but it required much effort on the 
part of its partisans to maintain the supremacy. The common 
law was not distinctly repudiated until the constitutional con- 
vention of 1812 settled the question. 

When the state convention met in 1812 to frame a constitu- 
tion, the Superior Bench was composed of Mathews, Lewis, and 
Martin. The latter was just turned fifty; the others somewhat, 
below that age. Notwithstanding the provision in the Schedule 
saving all officers unf;il their successors were qualified,,. a ques- 
tion was raised after the adoption, of the Constitution, and be- 
fore the creation of a judiciary, controverting the right of these 

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26 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

federal appointees to continue to act as judges. Indeed, the people 
of the Florida parishes declared the judges to be usurpers, and 
threatened to*prevent the session of the court in that district. The 
judges decided the controversy in the form of a joint letter to the 
senate, holding that under the Schedule they had become part of 
the state government, and that they had accordingly resigned 
their territorial commissions and were now de facto judges of the 
Superior Court of the State of Liouisiana. The reasoning through 
which the judges reached this conclusion still commands our 
respect. It is at once the first and one of the best constitutional 
arguments in our reports. See 2 Martin (O. S.) pp. 161-170. 

Under this ruling, which seems to haye convinced the 
doubters, the court sat as the Superior Court of LiOuisiana from 
the spring of 1812 until the organization, on March 1, 1813, of the 
Supreme Court created by the Constitution of 1812. 

The Legislature confirmed this view by appropriating $2,500 
to each of the judges for salary as state judges. See Acts of 1812, 
chapter 21, p. 66. 

The court's opinions in its new capacity are printed in 2 Mar- 
tin's (O. S.) pp. 171-356, and include several important questions, 
whether considered from the point of view of the nature of the 
case or of permanency as authority. Thus, Desbois' Case, 2 Mart. 
(0. S.) 185, held that all the inhabitants of the territory became 
ipso facto citizens of the state of Louisiana and of the United 
States as a result of the admission of the state into the Union, 
and without the formality of naturalization. Another, the Navi- 
gation Canal Case, thrice argued, famous in its time and still read 
with interest, was finally decided in this interregnum. Mathews 
and Martin wrote opposing opinions, each exhausting the ancient 
law concerning servitudes of drain, and neither convinced the 
other. See Orleans Navigation Co. v. New Orleans, 2 Mart. (O. 
S.) 10; Id. 2 Mart. (O. S.) 214; Id. 1 Mart. (O. S.) 269. 

Still a third case was Livingston v. Cornell, 2 Mart. (O. S.) 
281, also of first rate importance, until its conclusions were set 
aside by legislation. It was here ruled that it was against good 
morals for a lawyer to share contingently in the results of litiga- 

These slight references to its jurisprudence do not by any 
means exhaust the interregnum cases, nor do they touch at all 
the hundreds of rulings in volumes 1 and 2 of Martin. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 27 

The Superior Court, as we have noted, was one of first in- 
stance in all criminal matters and in certain civil matters. It 
was also an appellate court in all other civil causes, and, of course, 
was the only appellate court in the territory. It will be readily un- 
derstood that under such conditions the judges were an important 
element in the reorganization and rebuilding of the government. 

III. The Supreme Court of Louisiana, 1812-1846. 

The Supreme Court of Louisiana was created by the first 
Constitution, adopted January 28, 1812, and approved by Con- 
gress April 30, 1812. While Claiborne called the court of 1803-4 
by the same name, he had no authority for so doing. This designa- 
tion has remained unchanged through subsequent constitutional 
mutation. It was here made the highest court of the state, and 
that still is its distinctive feature. 

By article 4 of the Constitution the court was to be composed 
of not less than three nor more than five judges. The title jus- 
tice does not appear until the Constitution of 1845. They were to 
be appointed by the Governor, to serve during good behavior. The 
salary was fixed at $5,000. No professional qualification was re- 
quired, a suggestive omission because at that period laymen 
occupied similar positions in other states, but the Legislature cor- 
rected this omission immediately. 

The jurisdiction was exclusively appelate, based on a money 
value in excess of $300. No criminal jurisdiction was conferred 
and none was ever exercised. The question was promptly pre- 
sented and decided in Laverty v. Duplessis, 3 Mart. (O. S.) 42 
(1813). Thirty years afterwards, in April, 1843, the Legislature 
(Act 93, p. 59) created a Court of Errors and Appeals in Crimi- 
nal Matters, sitting in New Orleans, made up of three district 
judges from the county district, selected from the body of the 
judges. This court served from July, 1843, to February, 1846. 
Its decisions are reported in 12 Rob. (La.) pp. 513-619. It ceased 
with the adoption of the Constitution of 1845. The judges who 
served this court were Thomas C. NichoUs, George Rogers King, 
Isaac Johnson, with William D. Boyle temporarily in February, 
1846. This tribunal has often been confused with the Supreme 
Court, but, as we have shown, it was an independent court, having 
no connection whatever with the former court. 

The Constitution of 1812 empowered the Legislature to or- 
ganize the judiciary, and no restriction was placed on it regard- 

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28 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

ing trial by jury or the course at common law. It was, however, 
prohibited from adopting any system of laws by general reference, 
and was also required to define the particular law to be enacted. 
This was the culmination of one of the great. issues of the terri- 
torial times, and the phraseology was adopted to prevent any 
attempt to bring in the common. law by reference or jurispru- 
dence. The civil law had obtained legislative recognition in the 
Digest or first Civil Code of 1808, but the question was still acute 
when the convention disposed of it. 

The Constitution further required the judges to refer in 
every definitive judgment to the particular law in virtue whereof 
such judgment was rendered, and further prescribed that they 
should in all cases "adduce the reasons on which the judgment 
is founded.'* Our ancestors believed they could in this way keep 
down the judicial imagination, mindful of the thought, which 
was prevalent then and which is not yet wholly eradicated, that 
only the Lord could point out the law on which some judgments 
are based. Indeed, it is said, though I hope you will not press me 
for the authority, that even He is occasionally constrained to pass 
the point on to the ruler of the Subordinate Kingdom. 

Martin's scornful reference to this injunction (3 Martin, 
351) bore fruit in after years. The makers of the Constitution 
of 1864, with canny prevision, required their judges to refer to 
the particular law "as often as it may be advisable so to do." and 
their contemporaries were quick to point out that the court of 
that period took much comfort out of that provision. In the Con- 
stitution of 1868 it was changed to "practicable,'* and in that 
sense it appears in all succeeding charters. Even in its modified 
form it must be a great relief to the judicial conscience! 

While on this subject it ought to be added that by the act of 
February 17, 1821, p. 98, the Legislature required "each and every 
of the" judges of the Supreme Court to deliver separate and dis- 
tinct opinions in each case "seriatim, commencing with the junior 
judge of such court." This was fulfilled by the court \r^ 2l most 
unexpected way. Each judge wrote, "I concur in this opinion for 
the reasons adduced." Breedlove v. Turner, 9 Mart. (0. S.) 380- 
381. On February 27, 1822, the law was repealed. Acts 1822, p. 

24. . . - ' . ^'. ' ' ^ 

The first Legislature of Louisiana met on July,27, 18J2, but 

it was not until the second session, which convened on November. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 29 

23, 1812, that plans were devised for a judiciary. Claiborne sur- 
vived his territorial unpopularity and became the first elected 
Governor of the state. The delay in organizing the court was 
due partially to opposition to his views. Finally, on February 10, 
1813, he affixed his signature to the first Judiciary Act of Loui- 
siana. Laws of 1813, pp. 18-34. 

The first section established a Supreme Court of three judges 
"learned in the law," any two of whom would form a quorum. 
Precedence ran by dates of commissions, and, these being equal, 
then by ages of the judges. Out of this grew the title of Presid- 
ing Judge, by which Hall, Mathews, and Martin were in due 
course designated. Appeals were to be heard on transcripts (in 
the Superior Court the original record had been brought up), 
and these should contain "the proceedings in the case and all 
other documents on file in the same," and the court was directed 
to "hear the appeal on the pleadings and documents so trans- 

Sections 10, 11, and 13 authorized the court to re-examine, 
reverse, or affirm any final judgment, and to render such judg- 
ment as the nature of the case should require. It was provided, 
however, that there should be "no reversal for any error of fact, 
unless it be on a special verdict, or on a statement of the facts 
agreed upon by the parties or counsel, or fixed by the court." 

There was a particular direction to reverse no judgment or 
decree for any defect or want of form, but to "proceed and give 
judgment according as the rights of the cause and matter in law 
shall appear to them, without regarding any imperfection or 
want of form in the process or course of proceeding whatsoever." 

Section 17 gave supervisory power in aid of jurisdiction, and 
section 18 the right to make "all needful rules for regulating" the 
practice of the court not inconsistent with this statute or the 
general law. 

A strict construction of this statute led the court at once to 
the conclusion that it could not review the facts "unless the whole 
case was before them" (Brooks v. Weyman, 3 Mart. [O. S.] 
13-14), and in 1817 (Acts, pp. 24-44) the Legislature met this 
situation by providing that either party could require the clerk 
to take down the oral testimony as given by the witness, to be 
transmitted to the Supreme Court and to serve as a statement 
of facts. Acts 1817, pp. 24-44. This was speedily construed 
(1819) to mean that the notes of evidence constituted a state- 

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30 . The. Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

ment of facts, without any certificate or other formality. Barn- 
wall V. Harman, 6 Mart. (O. S.) 722. This statute was incorpo- 
rated into the Code of Practice of 1825 as article 601, and is the 
base upon which rests the right of this court to re-examine all the 
facts without regard to technical forms in use elsewhere, or for 
that matter, which might be used under our own code. 

In the early days, and, indeed, within the memory of many 
men still practicing, all testimony was reduced to narrative form, 
save where particular questions and answers were required to be 
taken down. The old rule worked well in its time, and it is curi- 
ous that, after decades of swollen transcripts, the trend of legal 
reform is toward our ancient practice. 

By the Constitution of 1812 the state was divided into the 
Eastern and Western Appelate Districts. Appeals from the 
former were returnable at New Orleans and from the latter at 
Opelousas. The Legislature was empowered to change the last- 
named at intervals of five years. The court was required to sit 
in New Orleans from November to July, inclusive, ajid in Ope- 
lousas from August to October, inclusive. This was a day of 
limited transportation facilities, and the mind dwells uneasily oh 
the spectacle of our ancestors traveling over the face of Louisi- 
ana to the seat of justice in the heats of June, July, August, and 
September ; nor can we fail to be impressed regarding the effect 
of that uncomfortable season on the judicial temperament. Legend 
preserves many tales of the habits of the bar of this saddlebag 
time, and, if half that is told true, the fraternity made an Eliza- 
bethan holiday of the journey, with other consolations besides. As 
to the judges, the record is more silent, but the office must have 
had rare attractions, for, of three original appointees, one lived 
out a long life with unsoured disposition and died in office ; while 
another held on until he was pried out of his seat by a new Con- 
stitution, after more than 30 years of possession. 

The act of 1813 required the Supreme Court to hold its first 
meeting in New Orleans on the first Monday of March of that 
year, and on that day, the first of the month also, Dominic A. Hall 
and George Mathews met in the building called in old days the 
Government House, and used at this time by the new state offi- 
cials for public purposes. They presented commissions from Gov- 
ernor Claiborne dated respectively February 22 and 23, 1813, 
and ordered the same spread upon the minutes. Several candi- 
dates for admission to the bar were examir^ed and admitted, in- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 31 

eluding some of the best-known men of that period, and the 
court adjourned until the succeeding day, when more candidates 
were admitted. 

On March 9, 1813, Pierre Derbigny presented his commission 
from Claiborne, which was placed on the minutes, and the court 
had its full complement of judges. The delay in his commission 
was due to opposition in the Senate, which first rejected and later 
confirmed the nomination. 

On March 11, 1813, Prevost, ex-judge of the Superior Court, 
brought forward the first business. He moved for an appeal to 
this court from a final judgment of the Superior Court rendered 
in the interregnum previously discussed. The court took time to 
consider, and on March 15, 1813, decided that the right of appeal 
created- by the Constitution of 1812 applied only to the judicial 
system created or which should be created thereunder, and that 
the late Superior Court was no part of that system and had no 
concern with it. Remembering, however, the famous de facto 
decision in which two of the present judges were concerned (3 
Mart. [O. S.] 2-6), the court hastened to add that the Superior 
Court had retained its original authority by virtue of the Schedule 
of the Constitution of 1812, which was in effect a continuation of 
its former jurisdiction; that it was an independent creation of a 
different sovereign, which could not have its powers ^dded to or 
circumscribed by state legislation; and that its decisions were 
final and irrevocable. Thus, with one bold stroke, the court drew 
a line between itself and the ancient regime, cleared its slate of old 
business, and left the judges free to make new jurisprudence. 

The men who thus set in motion the career of the court which 
is today celebrating its one hundred birthday were all immigrants. 
Hall, it has been variously said, was an Englishman, or a South 
Carolinian. Mathews was born in Virginia, but spent his youth 
and young manhood in Georgia, and his father was at one time 
Governor of that state. Derbigny was born in France. He 
claimed noble extraction, and was indeed an emigre of the Revolu- 
tion of 1789. All were men of reputation and capacity, and had 
seen service in Louisiana and Mississippi during the preceding ten 
years. Derbigny alone had had no previous judicial training. 

Hall retired on July 3, 1813, to take office as the first fed- 
eral district judge of Louisiana. It is said his principal motive 
for thus promptly exchanging one life position for another was 
the babel of foreign tongues which immediately smote his judicial 

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ear. He had scarcely a working knowledge of French and none 
of Spanish, and between the civil law and the French advocates 
he judged his hope of fame and his happiness of mind to lie in a 
court which would not be called upon incessantly to master and 
adjudicate these new and foreign ideas of jurisprudence. His 
late colleagues found it necessary some years afterwards (1821) 
to declare by rule they would not admit to practice any candidate 
who did not know the "legal language of the country.'' 9. Mart. 
(0. S.) 642. 

The vacancy made by his resignation became a pawn in a new 
political muddle stirred up between Claiborne and his Legisla- 
ture. It is said that five different names were submitted to and 
rejected by the Senate, and the impasse was finally avoided by a 
compromise whereby on January 1, 1815, Francois-Xavier Mar- 
tin, Attorney General of Louisiana, assumed the judgeship whose 
duties he had so recently laid down, and Etienne Mazereau, the 
idol of the Creoles, became Attorney General in his place. 

Meantime, from July, 1813, to January 1, 1815, the sessions 
of the court were held by Mathews and Derbigny, and in the Feb- 
ruary term of 1815 Martin began his service on the Supreme 
Bench, destined to continue longer than any other judge of that 
court down to this time. In 3 Mart. (O. S.) 329, Martin says the 
"din of war prevented any business being done during that 
term" ; but at the opening of the March term he wrote a vigor- 
ous opinion holding that General Andrew Jackson's declaration of 
martial law was a usurpation and ineffective ; that "the exercise 
of an authority vested by law in this court could not be suspended 
by any man." 3 Mart. (0. S.) 530-531. This opinion was ren- 
dered in a case in which Martin had been counsel and on the 
merits he recused himself. 3 Mart. (O. S.) 570. 

The court as constituted by this appointment, Mathews, Der- 
bigny, and Martin, deserves a passing personal notice. 

Mathews has been described as short, rotund, placid, even- 
tempered, and genial, with a touch of humor or pleasantry in his 
intercourse with men and on the bench. His disposition crops out 
in his opinions, which, moreover, are fine specimens of taste and 

Derbigny was tall, with a slight, graceful figure, somewhat 
high-strung, nervous, self-centered, and ambitious. A certain 
idiosyncratic style marks all of his opinions, and it suffers in jux- 
taposition to Martin's clear, crisp English, as may be seen in his 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 33 

concurring opinion in the Martial Law Case, 3 Mart. (O, S.) 
530-531. It is clear to the end of his service that the author is 
constantly transferring French thought to English expression. 

Martin was "rather below the medium height, with a large 
head, a Roman nose, and thick neck," stern, silent, serious, dogged, 
and laborious. There is never a gleam of humor or sentiment in 
his productions, but he often rises to the sublime. He was a noted 
phrase-maker — doubtless the result of his taste for the classics, 
already noticed. His epigrammatic sentences have a terse clear 
arrangement that recalls Bacon and the Bible. His viewS of life 
were as fixed as the North Star. He was devoted to labor, and he 
never allowed himself to be detached from an industry that 
amounted to genius. 

For several years the court worked unbroken, engaged on 
some of the greatest questions that any American court up to that 
time had grappled with, laying foundations to which the ensuing 
years merely added a superstructure. In 1820 Derbigny was 
selected with Livingston and Moreau-Lislet to prepare the Civil 
Code, which is now called the Code of 1825. In the same year, on 
December 15, 1820, he resigned the judgeship to enter unsuccess- 
fully a contest for the governorship. Derbigny ran as the candi- 
date of the Creoles, while Robertson was supported by the Amer- 
ican element. In 1828 he was more successful, but he had served 
as Governor only a year when, in 1829, he was thrown from his 
carriage, in a runaway just outside the village of Gretna, in Jef- 
ferson parish, and sustained a fracture of the skull which caused 
his death. To succeed him on the bench the Governor selected 
Alexander Porter, of Opelousas, who was appointed on January 
2, 1821. This new judge was at 35 a leader in his profession, a 
scholar, and a publicist. He had held a strong position in the 
convention which framed the Constitution, and he brought to the 
bench a freshness and vigor, a depth of scholarship, and an in- 
dustrious application that materially added to the prestige which 
the court enjoyed at that time among jurists and in the courts of 
the world. It is difficult to select from his varied store any one 
case to illustrate his genius, but the opinion in Saul v. His Credit- 
ors, 5 Mart. (N. S.) 569, 16 Am. Dec. 212, is generally recognized 
as a production equal to.the legal classics of any age. It is true 
the case was argued by a galaxy of great lawyers — Grymes, Hen- 
nen, Mazereau, Rawle, Morse, Eustis, and Livermore — ^but the 

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ability, under such circumstances, to distinguish and to strike out 
and impress an enduring principle is no mean gift. 

Porter left the bench in 1833, seduced by political aspirations, 
and he was serving as one of the Senators of Louisiana in the 
Congress of the United States when he died some years later. 

With the passing of Porter the court may be said to 'have 
closed its Imperial or Augustan Age. The largest part of its 
great task had been completed. It remained only to keep the path 
straight and to profit by the experience of the past in applying the 
problems of the future. 

BuUard, who took Porter's place, has written the contem- 
porary view in a footnote to 6 Robinson, 413. "It was," he says, 
"a period remarkable in our judicial annals, in the course of which 
the law itself underwent great changes, by the amendments of 
the Ciyil Code and the enactment of the Code of Practice, and the 
final abrogation of the Spanish law, in 1828. These changes 
added much to the labors of the bench ; and, while they ultimately 
simplified our jurisprudence, produced perplexing difficulties in 
the comparison of the old with the more recent enactments. The 
Code of Practice especially was a most perplexing innovation. The 
task imposed upon the court was performed with discrimination 
and ability. It was also during that period that the most im- 
portrant decisions were rendered on questions of the conflict of 
laws, and that branch of international jurisprudence was greatly 
illustrated by the labors of the Supreme Court of Louisiana." 

To succeed Porter, the Governor on February 4, 1834, com- 
missioned Henry A. Bullard, a native of Massachusetts. The new 
judge was a Harvard graduate, and at 46 had seen the world in 
many aspects. He had filibustered in Mexico, practiced law in 
Louisiana, served as a district judge in Natchitoches, sat in Con- 
gress, cultivated literature, written history; in fine, was a ripe 
product of the times. He served until February, 1839 ; resigned, 
and again returned to the court in 1840 remaining this time un- 
til the Constitution of 1845 legislated that bench out of office. 

Mathews died in November, 1836, and with his death the 
court of 1812 entered upon its twilight. A series of rapid changes 
took place. Martin grew blind and decrepit as he aged. When he 
became Presiding Judge through Mathews' death in 1836, his 
sight was very bad, and ultimately was lost completely; but he re- 
mained on the bench, notwithstanding this serious handicap, 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 35 

steadfastly holding on to a position which physically he was un- 
fitted to fill. 

He was now surrounded in quick succession by new men, 
who came and went without leaving much impression on their 
own time, and whose work of this period has been neglected or 
forgotten, or would be forgotten, had some of them not made later 
reputations which compels the historian to return to their earlier 
labors for comparison. 

Mathews' place was filled April 1, 1837, by Henry Carleton, 
who is still remembered as coadjutor with Moreau-Lislet in the 
translation of the Partidas, which was accepted in 1820 by the 
Legislature on the recommendation of a committee appointed for 
the purpose of examining the translation. This committee was 
Derbigny, Mazereau, and Livingston, and the Legislature ordered 
the translation to be circulated as a substantial contribution to- 
ward an understanding of the laws of Spain. 

Carleton resigned in February, 1839, and BuUard resigned at 
the same time, as already noted, leaving Martin alone on the 

At this period the court had accumulated a large docket, 
due principally to the litigation resulting from the current panic 
and financial depression. The illness of Mathews and Martin had 
some part in the congestion, but the methods of the court were 
also criticized. The judges heard arguments on three days in 
each week, sitting five hours per day. No check was placed on 
counsel, and the court took the same privilege. It was called a 
"talking court." There was, it is said, a continuous argument in 
which the judges often held the floor to the exclusion of counsel. 
There were times when not more than one case was heard in the 
entire three days. A critic of the period (Gustavus Schmidt, 1 La. 
Law Journal, 157) estimated that the docket then held 400 cases, 
and that the last one filed would probably be reached at the end 
of 14 years. 

To meet the public reproach, two of the most active leaders of 
the bar were selected to fill the vacancies, and on March 4, 1839, 
the Governor appointed Pierre Adolph Rost and George Eustis. 
As their commissions bore the same date, the age rule of the Con- 
stitution was invoked to determine precedence. Thereupon, says 
the reporter (13 La. 87), "Judge Rost, being the senior, took his 
seat on the right and Judge Eustis on the left of the Presiding 

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These new judges belonged to the modern regime. Eustis 
was from Massachusetts, of distinguished family, well educated, 
and had served as attache in one of our embassies in Europe. He 
enjoyed a large law practice here, and his acceptance was an un- 
doubted financial sacrifice. Rost was of French birth, and had 
served with Napoleon near the close of the latter's reign. He had 
resided in Louisiana for many years. He was in all respects, so- 
cially and otherwise, in the Eustis category, and had, besides, cul- 
tivated the habit of an annual foreign vacation, and the families 
of both judges were absent in Europe at the time of their ap- 
pointment. It did not take either judge long to reconsider his 
change in life. Contemporary gossip had it that aside from the 
lost professional emoluments and the freedom of life, which were 
sadly missed, the new judges found themselves hampered by the 
Presiding Judge in the effort to clear the docket. These personal 
peculiarities of the Presiding Judge apparently could not be over- 
come, and they added the last drop which overflowed the pail of 
regret. In May, 1839, Rost resigned, and Eustis followed in June. 

The Governor found it not easy to replace these recalcitrants. 
Finally George Strawbridge accepted, and so did Alonzo Morphy, 
who were appointed in August, 1839. Strawbridge served one 
term in the Western District, and took the way of Rost and 
Eustis ; but this was expected, for he declared when accepting that 
he intended to sit only through that term and for the purpose of 
assisting to clear the congested docket of his district. Morphy 
remained until the court of 1845 came in. By birth, training, and 
service Morphy was well fitted for the post. He was a South 
Carolinian, and had been a student in Livingston's office. He had 
served in the Legislature and as Attorney General. His opinions, 
however, are not light, or thought stirring reading, probably be- 
cause the labor of expressing the views of the court was almost 
wholly thrown upon him. He is the author of more than three- 
fourths of the opinions reported during his incumbency. 

Eustis was tendered the Strawbridge vacancy, but declined, 
and the Legislature in 1839 concluded to end the trouble by exer- 
cising the privilege granted by the Constitution to enlarge the 
court to five members. Bullard now accepted a reappointment, 
and Edward Simon and Rice Garland were added under the act 
just quoted. See 14 La. preface. The latter ce? ed to act after 
the September term, 1845. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 37 

The decisions of the court of 1812 appearing in the eighteen 
volumes, 3 to 12, Martin, Old Series, and 1 to 8 Martin, New 
Series, were reported by Martin himself and published at his own 
expense. Martin's decisions extend, however, through the entire 
series of fifty-one volumes of Reports, covering the period 1809- 

In the March term of 1830 Branch W. Miller became reporter 
to the court, under legislative authority, and his work appeared 
as the Louisiana Reports. He was succeeded in 6 Louisiana by 
Thomas Curry, who continued the publication under the same 
name until March, 1842, making nineteen volumes of that series. 
He wrote a valedictory which he published as a preface to his 
last volume (19 La.), and it may still be read with interest. 

Under contract with the state, Merritt M. Robinson continued 
the Reports, but gave them his own name. He began his official 
career in 1842 by a suggestion to the court to be relieved of the ex- 
pense of publishing certain of its decisions, and he clearly inti- 
mated that many of these were of no general or public interest, 
and most of them were, in any event, too long, for all of which he 
was promptly and emphatically snubbed by the court. He has 
embalmed the incident in a preface to 1 Robinson, and had his 
revenge in twelve portly volumes, covering not quite four years 
of the court; but it is an open question who had the best of the 
argument, for the point is still under discussion all over the Anglo- 
Saxon world, and we have not yet heard the last word. 

On Wednesday, March 18, 1846, the court of 1812 met for the 
last time, with only Morphy and Simon present, and they ad- 
journed to Thursday, March 19th. On that day the court, organiz- 
ed under the Constitution of 1845, began its sessions. 

The old regime had lasted thirty-three years, but no one re- 
gretted its end. Its greatest mind was still in service, but his 
lamp was flickering, and he too passed away at the end of the 
same year. 

We have noted Martin's first opinion. It is well to refer to 
the last one. It is brief and very much after the old Martin 
manner. In Bridge v. Oakley, 12 Rob. 638, the Presiding Judge 
ruled that an exception of no cause of action would not lie in an 
action for damages by a voter against an inspector of elections for 
maliciously preventing the voter from voting at an election ; that 
the malicious deprivation of the ballot was an injury compensable 
at law. 

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38 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

IV. 1846-1853. 

For years before the close of the period just described poli- 
tical parties in Louisiana had been seriously divided on the ques- 
tion of suffrage, popular control, and rotation in office. The old 
system was topheavy, and many abuses were laid to its door, par- 
ticularly in so far as the judiciary w&s concerned. Finally a con- 
\ention was called to frame a new Con^lif:a*-ion, bat the factions 
were so evenly divided the result was a compromise which pleased 
few, and indeed strengthened the objectors for a new struggle 
which, it was recognized, would speedily ensue. 

The Constitution of 1845 framed by this body provided for a 
Supreme Court to be composed of a Chief Justice and three As- 
sociates, to be appointed by the Governor for a term of eight 
years, the first judges to go out at intervals of two years, the 
Chief Ju3tice last, and their successors to be appointed for the full 
term. The salary was $6,000 for the Chief Justice and $5,500 for 
the Associates. Being a court of four, it was provided that the 
judgment below should be affirmed when the court was divided 
in opinion. 

Sessions were fixed in New Orleans from the first Monday 
of November to the end of June, and elsewhere as should be de- 
termined by the Legislature. Under statutory provisions, the 
sessions after 1846 were held in Opelousas in August, Alexandria 
in September, and Monroe in October, giving the judges but one 
month of holiday. 

The appellate civil jurisdiction over $300 in amount, and 
other provisions of the previous Constitution were re-enacted. 
Appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases and on the law only was 
conferred for the first time, limited to cases where the punish- 
ment of death or hard labor was inflicted; also in all cases in- 
volving the constitutionality or legality of any tax, toll, or impost, 
and over fines, forfeitures, and penalties imposed by municipal 

This court organized on Thursday, March 19, 1846, in the 
room which had been occupied for. some time by its predecessor. 
Years afterward the same room was occupied by the Third Dis- 
trict Court for the Parish of Orleans, in which Justice Monroe 
held his first judgeship. 

No ceremony marked the advent of the new judges, who con- 
formed to the simple practice of the first court. Their commis- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 39 

sions were signed by Isaac Johnson, Governor, and countersigned 
by Charles Gayarre, Secretary of State. These were spread on 
the minutes, and the day's session was concluded. 

These judges were George Eustis, Chief Justice; Pierre 
Adolphe Rost, George Rogers King, and Thomas Slidell, Asso- 
ciates. The Chief Justice and the Senior Associate Rost had 
served, as heretofore noted, for a brief period under Martin in 
1839, but Eustis here attained the distinction of First Chief 
Justice of Louisiana. 

King retired in December, 1849, or, at least, he did not 
serve after that date. He was succeeded by Isaac T. Preston, ap- 
pointed by Governor Joseph Walker, who was seated March 4, 
1850. Judge Preston perished in a steamboat fire on Lake 
Pontchartrain on July 5, 1852, and William Dunbar was appoint- 
ed to fill the unexpired term. He sat for the first time at Alexan- 
dria in the September term of 1852. The latter is chiefly remem- 
bered as the subject of an excoriating pamphlet by Charles Gay- 
arre in a later campaign in which they were opposing candidates 
for Congress, but which did not elect its author. 

King had served as District Judge on the Court of Criminal 
Errors and Appeals, and was considered an excellent criminal 
lawyer. State v. Brette, 6 La. Ann. 661. He retired from the 
Supreme Court in 1849 because he felt unequal to the labor. He 
was fragile and ill, but he survived all of his Associates, dying 
only in 1871. 

Preston had been an active partisan for years in Jefferson 
parish, and was a member of the Convention of 1845. 

Eustis has heretofore received a passing notice regarding his 
service in 1839, but his position in our legal history justifies the 
insertion here of a sketch (which is also intrinsically worthy of 
repetition) from the pen of one who occupied the same seat only a 
few years later. Eustis died in 1859, and Chief Justice Merrick, 
addressing the bar of the court, said : 

"The attainments of Judge Eustis as a jurist were what 
might have been expected from his fine mind, great industry, and 
studious habits. 

"Through the many years of his professional life he was con- 
stantly adding to his great stores of learning, and sounding the 
fountains and sources of our law. To him the profession was not 
merely an art, valuable because it produced gold and silver; it 
was rather a field of ethical philosophy, which rewarded each 

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40 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

search with new discoveries, and furnished those pleasures to a 
cultivated mind which science daily bestows upon her votaries, 

"In his intercourse with this court as an advocate his man- 
ner was peculiar. He seemed (in those important and difficult 
cases which were principally confided to him), to discard all de- 
clamation and elaborate deductions from particular texts, and 
merely suggesting the sources of the law to be examined, to give 
himself up to the search of the legal principle which was to con- 
trol the case, as one whose main object was to aid the court in its 
pursuit of the truth, and who had no further interest in the result 
than a desire that the right conclusion should be attained." 

The court held its last — a purely formal — session in New Or- 
leans on Monday, May 2, 1853, with Rost, Slidell, and Dunbar 
present, and adjourned sine die. 

The court of 1846 had come into office under a cry for reform 
in the long opinions and costly delays of the late system. In 
response, rules and methods were adopted by the court in which 
everything was subordinated to this end. One rule deserves re- 
membrance. When rehearings were granted the case was re- 
submitted at once; the party against whom it was allowed was 
required to file within three days thereafter a printed argument 
on the points on which the rehearing was given, and the other 
party to reply thereto within the three succeeding days. 

On the question of lengthy opinions the court almost sacri- 
ficed clearness to brevity, for, while many important and far- 
reaching opinions were rendered, the hallmark is upon all of them. 

It was a court of strong, bright, active men, and the bulk of 
its work was enormous. It caught up with a congested dock- 
et — it would seem to have been impossible to satisfy a cry for 
reform more completely than in this instance — but the spirit of 
the young democracy was not to be appeased, and before the com- 
mission of the Chief Justice expired a new Constitution swept an- 
other bench into power. 

Merrick said of this court, on the occasion above mentioned : 

"On the change under the Constitution in 1846 — in the for- 
mation of which he aided — Judge Eustis accepted the office of 
Chief Justice of this court, which he held until the Constitution of 
1852 was carried into effect in 1853. The decisions of this period 
are contained in the first eight volumes of the Annual Reports. 
These volumes evince the greatest capacity for the transaction of 
business, and the most untiring industry on the part of the mem- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 41 

bers of that court. To judge of these labors we must compare 
them with the earlier years of our jurisprudence. 

"At the time the Supreme Court was organized, and many- 
years afterwards, from forty to ninety cases were all it was called 
upon to decide during its session in this city. At the period to 
which I refer, its business had increased to between four and five 
hundred cases. What learning was, therefore, required of a court 
composed of only four judges to meet the exigencies of the public 
business, may be imagined when it is considered the judges were 
without any sufficient leisure for the investigation of authorities, 
except those cited, and were compelled to rely in a great measure 
on their previous reading, or see the business of the court in- 
crease until it should overwhelm them with its hopeless accumu- 
lation. It is a sufficient praise to Judge Eustis to say that he, 
with the assistance of his able colleagues, was equal to the occa- 
sion." 13 A. viii. 

The reported opinions of the court of 1845-1853 were pub- 
lished by M. M. Robinson, reporter of the previous court. A new 
series was begun, called the Lrouisiana Annual Reports, a title 
which remained unchanged for fifty-two years. So far as now 
known, the reporter had discretion regarding the printing of the 
decisions. In any event, there is published in 1st Annual the first 
known list of unreported cases. Robinson soon gave way to W. 
W. King, and he, in turn, was succeeded by W. M. Randolph as re- 
porter, before the labors of this court ceased. 

Randolph was a lawyer of the younger set who had before 
him a long and honorable life and who reached high position 
at the bar. He was selected by the court for the reason that the 
court had been chosen, to clear up a congested situation. The 
preceding reporter was fifteen months in arrears on his printed 
work, and in June, 1853, was publishing the opinions rendered in 
March of the preceding year. In 1854 the new reporter deliver- 
ed volume 7, covering the year 1852, and promised the Reports of 

1853 within thirty days and the decisions of the first quarter of 

1854 by August of that year. With this prelude the reporter 
opens a preface to volume 7, and adds : 

"The reporter hopes that the large amount of work will be 
a sufficient apology for the apparent delay in publication. Few 
persons not familiar with the drudgery of proof-reading can 
form a distinct idea of its annoyances. There can be no doubt that 

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42 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

whatever gifts 'come by nature,' correcting proof is not one of 
the number." 

We learn from this preface that the labor of making the 
syllabus fell on the reporter, and in using the early Annuals it is 
well to remember this. He sajrs: 

"In all cases, whenever practicable, in making the abstracts 
of points decided, the language of the court has been adopted. In 
a very large number of cases the facts are stated to which the law 
has been applied, no attempt being made to generalize a principle 
from the decision, when the court has not announced such a 
generalization. This had greatly increased the labor ; but it has, 
he trusts, secured accuracy." 

V. 1853-1864. 

The Constitution of 1852 was the product of the new demo- 
cracy, and it reflected the spirit of the times. 

This instrument created a Supreme Court of one Chief 
Justice and four Associate Justices, elected by the people at times 
different from other elections, for a term of ten years ; the first 
appointees to go out at intervals of two years, and the Chief 
Justice going last and serving the first full term. The salary 
remained at $6,000 for the Chief Justice and $5,500 for the 
Associates. The state was divided into four Supreme Court Dis- 
tricts, with the Chief Justice elected from the state at large. This 
was the first time this physical division had been made ; thereto- 
fore, however, there was an unwritten rule to the same effect, 
which had not always been observed. Vacancies were to be filled 
by the Executive, unless more than one year of the term remained, 
in which case the office was sent to an election. 

The jurisdiction remained practically as in the Constitution 
of 1845, save that the Legislature was given the power to restrict 
it "in civil cases to questions of law only," a power which was 
never exercised. 

Wherever, by reason of recusation, a majority did not con- 
cur in the opinion, the court was authorized to call in any judge 
of an inferior court to sit in the place of the recused justice. This 
was also a new provision which had not appeared in the previous 

The place and time of the sessions at New Orleans remained 
as before — ^the first Monday of November to the end of June, and 
elsewhere as should be directed by the Legislature. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 43 

On Monday, May 4, 1853, the Supreme Court elected by the 
people under the Constitution of 1852 organized in New Orleans 
with Thomas Slidell, Chief Justice, and Cornelius Voorhies, A. M. 
Buchanan, and A. N. Ogden, Associate Justices. James G. Camp- 
bell, the fifth justice, joined on the 16th of the same month. 

The rule or ceremony of installation did not vary from the 
precedents already quoted. Their commissions were signed by 
P. 0. Hebert, Governor. 

Slidell, as we have seen, came over from the preceding court, 
advancing, however, to the principal seat and becoming the sec- 
ond Chief Justice of the state. The court was strong as a whole 
.and compared favorably with its immediate predecessor. Its deci- 
sions are as a rule brief, and it is evident, without resorting to 
tradition, that lawyers and court worked earnestly and rapidly. 

The courts of other years had apparently placed no time 
limit on arguments, and your honors and the brethren of today 
may feel some interest in the new rule of 1853 on that subject. It 
raised a chorus of dissent. The legal horizon grew black with 
prophecy of evil to result therefrom, and yet that rule was mere 
childs-play compared with the one under which we work. 

"In consequence," says the court, "of the great number of 
cases upon the docket, the following rule is adopted, to wit: It 
is ordered that not more than one hour will be allowed for an 
opening argument, one hour to each counsel for the defense (not 
exceeding two), and one hour for the closing arguments, except 
where in special cases the court on previous application may 
otherwise order." 

It is said that a good, uninterrupted four hours' argument 
will enable any Supreme Court to cut down its opinions one-half, 
if, indeed, it does not leave the court without the ability to say 
anything whatever. Your honors may not have heard this before, 
and the information is respectfully submitted. 

The court of 1853 lived only nine years, excluding the War 
period, but it created a record in Louisiana for rotation in office. 

Campbell resigned in June, 1854, and H. M. Spofford was 
elected to succeed him, taking his seat on November 6, 1854. 

Slidell was assaulted by a ruffian at the polls in June, 1855, 
and his injuries were such that he was compelled to retire. He 
dragged out a life of mental disability until his death, in 1861. 
He was a Democrat of pronounced type, one of the wheel horses of 

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44 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

his party, and a leader of the movement for an elective judiciary. 
It seemed the irony of politics that his splendid career should have 
been summarily closed by an irresponsible wretch, whose right to 
be at that spot had perhaps been guaranteed to him through the 
efforts of his victim. 

Slidell was succeeded by Edwin Thomas Merrick, after a 
fierce campaign, which it is said has never been paralleled in the 
history of the state until very recent times. The third Chiei 
Justice had been a district judge in the Feliciana district, and he 
came to his seat with an established reputation as a jurist. He 
entered on his duties at Monroe on August 1, 1855. 

In June, 1855, Ogden resigned, and his unexpired term was 
filled by the election of Lea, who sat for the first time on Mon- 
day, July 23, 1855. 

Lea's term expired in April, 1857, and his place was taken 
by J. L. Cole on May 4, 1857. 

In September, 1858, Spofford resigned, and Thomas T. Land 
was elected and began to serve on November 1, 1858. 

Cornelius Voorhies retired in April, 1859, and was succeed- 
ed by Albert Voorhies, his son, on May 3, 1859. 

In January, 1860, J. L, Cole withdrew, and Albert Duffel 
was elected in his place, and took the bench on March 12, 1860. 

On Monday, February 24, 1862, the Supreme Court met in 
New Orleans, with Merrick, Buchanan, Voorhies, and Duffel 
present, and Land absent. Some minor business was passed on, 
and an order was entered reciting that at a meeting of the Judges 
of the Supreme Court and the district judges of Orleans parish, it 
had been agreed that all courts should adjourn to facilitate the 
mobilization of the militia, which had been ordered by the Legisla- 
ture* Accordingly the court adjourned to Monday, May 5, 1862, 
at 11 o'clock. 

On that day, all the judges being absent, the clerk ad- 
journed the court to Tuesday, May 6, 1862, and the same condi- 
tions still existing, he on that date adjourned it sine die. 

In the gathering of February 24th Buchanan was the last 
representative of the group which organized the court nine years 
before. In that short period twelve judges had seen service on the 
bench, but notwithstanding this constant shifting of minds, the 
body of its jurisprudence ranks high. We might, indeed, para- 
phrase here Merrick's eulogy on the preceding court, adding to it 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 45 

Miat Spofford had all the ability of Eustis and was more than 
his equal in industry, and that the Chief Justice himself took 
pride in keeping ahead of his Associates in the volume of his pro- 
duct, and found time besides to write concurring and dissenting 
opinions, which established his reputation as an independent 
thinker. Indeed, these volumes and others like them make i-s re- 
gret that the Constitution of Louisiana now prohibits the publi- 
cation of concurring and dissenting opinions ; for, with this limi- 
tation on the judicial mind, there seems to have fallen on the 
court a habit of concurrence which has, it is thought, helped to 
create the impression of a one-man court, concerning which so 
much has been said in recent days. 

Aside from the learning and industry of the judges, the court 
had a peculiar advantage over its predecessors in that nearly 
always there were at least three men sitting together who had 
seen long service on the district bench, and who had there attract- 
ed the deserved appreciation of the bar. The judges were not only 
zealous workers, but there was between them a jealousy and ri- 
valry in work which urged each to his topmost speed. There is a 
curious contemporary illustration of this in a copy of Eleventh 
Annual in my possession. It contains the autograph of Justice A. 
M. Buchanan, and was evidently used by him while on the bench. 
On the flyleaf is this entry in his handwriting : 

"This volume contains 409 decisions, of which pronounced by 












"Opelousas cases omitted in this volume altogether, although 
43 cases were decided there, of which 







'Justices Voorhies and Spofford absent from Opelousas.' 

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46 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Up to the closing hour in New Orleans the court seems from 
its minutes to have been undisturbed by the clamor and distur- 
bance of the great war which was raging without its portals. The 
last reported cases, decided in February, 1862, show no sign of 
haste or tremor. Indeed, it was only when the city was literally in 
the embrace of the foeman, and the local authority was toppling 
to its dissolution, that the session was brought to an end. 

The opinions of the court of 1852 begin at page 277 of the 8 
Annual, reported by W, M. Randolph, who was succeeded in 12 
An. by A. N. Ogden, who served until 1862, but the opinions of 
1861-62 were compiled after the War closed, and were published 
by S, F. Glenn, with the assistance of the late reporter. It ought 
also to be added that by an act passed in 1855 the reporter was 
directed to report aH cases save those involving mere questions of 
fact, or in which damages were assessed for frivolous appeal. 

The city of New Orleans was taken by the Federal Army in 
April, 1862. Baton Rouge, the capital, fell shortly thereafter, and 
the seat of the state government was removed to Shreveport, and 
the Supreme Court was by legislative act required to hold sessions 
there or elsewhere during the War. Act 23 of 1863. Merrick and 
Land remained on duty at Shreveport, but were not joined by 
Buchanan, Duffel, and Voorhies. Buchanan seems to have re- 
mained in New Orleans, and to have drawn his salary from the 
Auditor of the Hahn Government. See Report, Journal of Con- 
vention of 1864, p. 134. 

Thomas Courtland Manning was appointed by Governor 
Moore to fill Buchanan's place, and served until the close of the 

Duffel died, and on February 10, 1864, the Confederate 
Legislature authorized the Governor to appoint a successor to 
serve until an election could be held in Duffel's (Second) Judi- 
cial District. P. E. Bonford was appointed under this act. See 
Merrick's Address on Land, 45 An. vii. 

There is no printed record of any judicial work performed, 
but in the same address it is said the court heard and decided 
several important cases of public interest, besides acting in an 
advisory capacity to the Governor and the Legislature. 

During the first four months of federal military occupation, 
that is, from April to August, 1862, none of the established courts 
had been opened in New Orleans. The army created a provost 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 47 

court presided over by Major Joseph M. Bell of Butler's staff. All 
the criminal offenders were tried here, and the provost judge was, 
besides, invested with a civil jurisdiction, which extended into 
every justiceable controversy, including the settling of estates and 
the granting of divorces. See Mechanics' Bank v. Union Bank, 
89 U. S. (22 Wall.) 297, 22 L. Ed. 871. 

In the summer of 1862 General Shepley was appointed mili- 
tary Governor, and one of his first acts was an order issued in 
August, 1862, to reopen for business the Second, Fourth, and 
Sixth District Courts for the Parish of Orleans. He appointed 
judges to these courts, retaining Rufus K. Howell in the Sixth, 
in which he was judge at the opening of hostilities. 

On October 20, 1862, President Lincoln by executive order 
established the Provisional Court of Louisiana, and appointed 
Charles A. Peabody, of New York, to be judge thereof. Peabody 
arrived from New York in December, 1862., bringing with him 
his clerk, marshal, and prosecuting attorney, all Northern men, 
and the court was immediately put in operation. In the executive 
order the President granted to the Judge of the Provisional Court 
all the power, jurisdiction, and authority previously vested in the 
district and circuit courts of the United States or in the state 
courts of Louisiana, and, furthermore, made its judgments final 
and conclusive. This extraordinary order was purely a war 
measure, and it was supported by the arms of the United States 
until the fall of 1864 ; that is, until the federal courts had resumed 
sessions, and the Republican state Constitution of 1864 had been 
put into operation. 

The court was abolished by Congress July 28, 1866. The 
regularity of the Provisional Court was maintained by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States in The Grapeshot, 76 U. S. (9 
Wall.) 133, 19 L. Ed. 651. 

In the interim the Provisional Court sustained the author- 
ity granted to it, and became in consequence a tribunal of great 
temporary importance. The judge seems to have exercised not 
only original jurisdiction, but he assumed the power of a court of 
review over the state courts. In the minutes of the Provisional 
Court, under date of January 12, 1863, the judge entered a rule 
of procedure to regulate transfers of cases to his court "from the 
late Supreme Court." 

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48 The Louisiana Historical Qitarterly 

This digression would be unwarranted, save that it leads up 
to a matter which had long been treated as a legend, but which 
seems on examination to have had some foundation. 

After the re-establishment of the three district courts in Or- 
leans and similar courts in Jefferson, and other parishes within 
federal control, the right of appeal from their decisions to the 
Supreme Court of the state was claimed and recognized. This 
created a situation unprovided for in Shepley's original order, and 
to meet it the military Governor appointed a quorum of judges 
for the Supreme Court. In April, 1863, he named Charles A. 
Peabody Chief Justice, and John S. Whitaker and J. L. Cole Asso- 
ciates. Peabody was the judge of the Provisional Court; Whit- 
aker was then sitting under appointment as judge of the Second 
District Court ; and Cole had been on the Supreme Court and re- 
signed in 1860, as we have previously noted. 

That these persons ever acted together is improbable. The 
Minute Book of the Supreme Court shows no entry after the ad- 
journment on May 5, 1862, until the entry covering the organiza- 
tion of the court of 1865. But Peabody had actually exercised in 
his court the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and he 
took over the added honor very lightly. An extra commission or 
so was a little thing to this judicial autocrat in those piping days. 
He drew salary as Chief Justice to the extent of $3,541.66 on his 
own warrant against the Auditor of the Hahn State Govern- 
ment, elected under military authority in February, 1864. See 
Report Journal of Convention 1864, under date June 25, p. 134. 

The time at my command has not sufficed to trace or authen- 
ticate the records, if such exist elsewhere. In 4 American Law 
Register, for 1864-65, a contemporary Philadelphia publication, 
three essays appeared on the Provisional Judiciary of Louisiana, 
in which the facts are given substantially as above detailed. These 
essays were published in the numbers for December, 1864, p. 65 ; 
March, 1865, p. 287; and May, 1865, p. 385. The writer speaks 
as with full knowledge, and was evidently on the scene. 

From internal evidence, together with the initial "B'' signed 
to the article in the March number, and the place of composition, 
New Haven, Conn., I am satisfied the writer was Edward C. Bil- 
lings, who was later the law partner in New Orleans of August De 
B. Hughes, clerk in 1862-63 of the Provisional Court of Louisiana. 
Billings came to New Orleans at or just after the federal occupa- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 49 

tion, and he practiced law here until his appointment as Judge of 
the District Court of the United States for this district. His 
actual residence, however, was in New Haven, Conn., and he died 
there while an incumbent of this office. 

During the whole period 1862-64 the Supreme Court room 
was occupied by the United States military forces. If any session 
of the Supreme Court was held by Peabody, it was in his own 
room in the Custom House, but his minutes do not disclose the 
fact. In a slight sketch of the United States Provisional Court 
written by Judge Peabody and published in the International Re- 
view May-June, 1878, he intimates that he exercised the functions 
of both offices at the same time. Having the federal army at his 
back and there being no appeal from his decisions he must be 
ranked as a more powerful magistrate than the first judge of the 
territory whose career has been covered in the first paragraphs 
of this essay. 

In the preface to 16 Annual, written by S. F. Glenn and pub- 
lished in 1865, the reporter says that the records and opinions of 
the court had been so scattered and misused by the military occu- 
pants of the court that it was difficult to make up a complete 
report of the court's work of 1861-62. The fact that Glenn, who 
was a contemporary, makes no mention of the Peabody court is 
at least slight evidence that he found no written opinions. An- 
other circumstance throwing doubt on the question is that Act 51 
of the General Assembly 1865, approved April 3, 1865, makes 
provision for the transfer of the records of the Provisional Court 
of Louisiana into the several district courts of the state. No men- 
tion is therein made of any records to be transferred to the Su- 
preme Court ; nor has there ever been any further legislation on 
that subject. The records were never, however, transferred, and 
are still in the custody of the United States Court for the Eastern 
District of Louisiana. 

Reviewing the whole matter, the conclusion is that the three 
persons named were actually appointed; that the appointees do 
not appear to have held court together ; that Peabody apparently 
exercised the functions of the Supreme Court at the same time he 
was sitting as United States Provisional Judge, and that he drew 
salary from the state as Chief Justice, at least, until the meeting 
of the Constitutional Convention in June, 1864. 

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50 The Louisiana Historical Qv/arterly 

VI. 1864-1868. 

It was the policy of President Lincoln in 1862-64 to organize 
a civil government in Louisiana, and under his suggestion an 
election was ordered by General N. P. Banks, to be held on Feb- 
ruary 22, 1864, to elect a Governor and other state officers, to be 
installed on March 4, 1864; and he also called an election to be 
held March 28, 1864, for delegates to a convention to revise the 
Constitution of 1852. Both elections were held in due course in 
New Orleans and other places under federal control. Michael 
Hahn was elected Governor and J. Madison Wells Lieutenant Grov- 
ernor, and they were inaugurated on March 4, 1864. At this time 
the larger part of the state was still in control of the Confederate 

The Convention met April 6, 1864. It was composed of poli- 
tical waifs and estrays from nineteen parishes, but, of course, 
some men of character and ability were found in the gathering. 
The debates of this convention mer^ preflored and printed, and 
they constitute a political opera bouf f e or side show to the swf ol 
tragedy of life in Louisiana in 1864. 

After much travail a Constitution was framed which was 
submitted in due course to the same limited electorate on Sep- 
tember 1, 1864, and on September 5, 1864, a general assembly was 
elected to complete the government. Hahn was elected Senator 
in 1865 after two other Senators of the same creation had been 
refused admission by the Senate of the United States, and upon 
this election Hahn resigned and Wells succeeded to the Governor's 
chair. Each of these men had been Democrats in the old days, 
but they were now classified as "loyal men," and they had been 
nominated as free state men, i. e., men who desired to bring 
Louisiana back into the Union under Republican auspices. 

The Constitution of 1864 created a Supreme Court of five 
justices appointed by the Governor for eight years with a salary 
of $7,500 to the Chief Justice, and $7,000 to the Associates. In 
other respects, including jurisdiction, the rules established in the 
Constitution of 1852 were re-established, save that no territorial 
qualification was required. 

The court was organized by Act No. 11, p. 18, of 1864, re- 
enacted in Act 82 of 1866, p. 150, by which the state was divided 
into four appellate districts, with one Associate Judge from each 
district ; the Chief Justice to be appointed from the state at large. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 51 

Sessions were fixed at New Orleans, Monroe, Natchitoches, and 
Opelousas ; the first from November to June, the others in July, 
August, and September, respectively. 

Appeals concerning the right to office were made returnable 
in ten days, and in criminal cases at the next session, wherever 
held. It was also provided that no appeal should be dismissed for 
informality, without opportunity to the other party to remedy the 

No attempt was made to name the judges until April 3, 1865, 
on which day Governor Wells appointed William B. Hyman, of 
Rapides, Chief Justice ; and the Commissions of Zenon Labauve, of 
West Baton Rouge, Ruf us K. Howell, John H. Ilsey, and Robert B. 
Jones, of Orleans, Associate Justices, bear the signature of Gov- 
ernor Hahn. The judges met on May 1, 1865. Their commissions 
were spread on the minute book of the court of 1853, which was 
thereupon closed forever. 

The court thus constituted was, from a professional view- 
point, distinctly mediocre, but, considering the situation, the ap- 
pointments might have been worse. 

The court, as well as the government from which it sprang, 
was a mere puppet to register the views of the federal authorities, 
political and military. Neither department of that government 
could say it had either a soul or a will of its own, and, this being 
the case in the territorial region where it was created, it goes 
without saying that it was absolutely disregarded in the remain- 
der of the state, where the authorities elected in 1861 and again 
in 1864 were recognized as the only true government of Louisiana. 
But the end of the old era was already in sight, and the close of 
the civil strife settled the new judges in state- wide authority and 
determined their right to a place in the history of this court. 

Under the conditions surrounding their appointment, the 
judges had to be in sympathy with the winning side, and this 
particular group was "loyal" and "safe." Hyman had practiced 
law for years in Rapides. Labauve had accumulated some means 
as a sugar planter and lawyer in the old "German Coast" region. 
Ilsley had practiced in Jefferson and adjoining parishes. Howell 
had been a judge before and during the War in Orleans ; and Jones 
was an unknown quantity. The Chief Justice was an amiable, 
easy-going, rather indolent man, full of whimsies and odd ideas. 
His life had been devoted by choice to the unpopular and under- 

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52 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

dog side. This was not a pose but a quality of disposition. His 
transition to the Republican party was to be expected, and he 
held to that idea until he died, years afterwards. Aside from these 
characteristics, no one ever questioned his integrity or his desire 
to be just. If he failed, the times and his associations and sur- 
roundings were more to blame than he. The last remark may 
also be applied to Labauve and Ilsley. As to Howell, the people 
generally felt otherwise, probably because he was a bitter parti- 
san, and he seemed, when going over, to have turned his back ab- 
solutely upon his past. Jones was a nondescript, regarding whose 
ability as a judge there was a contemporary jeu d'esprit which 
Ficklen has preserved in his History of Reconstruction in Lou- 
isiana, a work of rare promise, which, unfortunately,, the author 
did not live to complete. He says that Jones applied to a justice 
of the peace to qualify, i. e., to be sworn in, and the latter replied : 
"I will swear you in, but all hell could not qualify you." The story 
is probably apocryphal. • I heard it first from Sam Myers, an ir- 
responsible wag who eked out a precarious existence for years at 
this bar, and who will long be remembered for a witty and almost 
libelous poem on Steele, Attorney General of a later era, in reply 
to the suit by the latter for the license tax then levied on and still 
exacted from the profession. Jones' reported work is scant. He 
resigned in 1866 and shortly afterward died. In his place there 
came to the bench in July, 1866, one of the most unique characters 
of that time, James G. Taliaferro, of Catahoula, who was born 
in Virginia in 1798. He had first resided in Mississippi and 
thence moved to Catahoula, La., where for a time he did manual 
labor on a farm. He was elected parish judge in 1840, apparently 
without having been licensed as a lawyer ; at least, without hav- 
ing practiced. Thereafter he resigned this position and followed 
the law for a livelihood. He was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1852, and of the Secession Convention of 1861. He 
was one of the few members of that body who vigorously opposed 
secession, and he declined to sign the ordinance. He was a rug- 
ged, straightforward, old man who had convictions which he did 
not hide, and which he was not chary of expressing. His atti- 
tude at this time was in accord with his beliefs. He held the 
respect of his opponents in a period when the same could be said 
of few others in his situation. He added strength to the court 
of 1865, and was returned with Howell to the court of 1868. He 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court ^Z 

died while on that bench in 1876, before the triumph of the cause 
which during all his judicial life he ardently and insistently join- 
ed in delaying and defeating. 

The labors of the court of 1865-1868 are reported in 17 to 
20 Annuals, inclusive. The first volume is chiefly left-over cases 
from the former court. The reporter was S. F. Glenn, who held 
the position until the close of volume 18, and was succeeded in 
1867 by Jacob Hawkins, who continued the Reports through this 
court and until 1872 in the court of 1868. 

The court rules of 1853 continued to govern, including the 
four-hour argument. 

After 1866, that is, in 18, 19, and 20 Annuals, the business 
of the court grew somewhat in importance, and many serious 
cases were adjudicated, but, after all is said, it remains true that 
this period of our judicial history presents a flat, uninteresting 
surface. The judges were merely filling a gap. Out of doors 
chaos was slowly settling into order ; the air was troubled and the 
sea of politics boiled ; great and fundamental changes were taking 
place, but life on this particular judicial side moved on unperturb- 

The military forces arbitrarily and without hypocrisy settled 
all political and all public judicial questions. The judges were 
allowed to piddle with humdrum litigation, but, even so, care was 
taken to keep step with the military band. The forcible invita- 
tion to get out was often issued to their confreres in the pseudo 
state and city governments, for the favor of the master was in 
those days as uncertain as the verdict in a Roman circus, but the 
patient, obedient, and careful judges of the Supreme Court of 
1865 were not disturbed. They wore the livery of power three 
and one-half years — filling the round of duty, writing common- 
place opinions, and marking time against the inevitable change 
which all the portents foreboded. 

VII. 1868-1877. 

The Constitutional Convention of 1868 was preceded by the 
congressional reconstruction legislation of 1866-67, and there had 
been much blood shed and turmoil engendered as a result of that 
legislation. The members of the Convention had been elected by 
default — ^that is, the Democrats generally abstained from voting, 
or were unable to vote — and when the body met its ninety-eight 

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it The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

■iembers were equally divided between blacks and whites, and all 
but two were Republicans. 

The Constitution was ratified at an election guarded by fed- 
eral troops, wherein Warmoth was declared Governor over Judge 
Taliaferro, who was of the same party faith, but had received 
some Democratic support. Warmoth's large majority was chief- 
ly made up of negro votes. He had been posing as the Moses who 
would lead them out of the Wilderness. The United States in due 
course recognized the return of the state to the Union, and mili- 
tary rule ceased in Louisiana, save that at all times and until 
1877 the army was used to maintain the Republican Party in its 
control of the government of the state. 

The Constitution created a Supreme Court of a Chief Justice 
and four Justices modeled on the system established in 1864, save 
that the minimum jurisdiction was raised to $500. The salary re- 
mained at the previous figures, $7,500 and $7,000, respectively, 
and the appointment was vested in the Governor. The New Or- 
leans session was shortened to close May 31st, and sessions else- 
where were to be as before and until otherwise provided by the 

The Legislature of 1868-69 treated the judiciary features of 
the Constitution as self-acting, and made no provisions, save to 
transfer the records of the preceding courts to this new creation. 
Acts 1868, No. 20, p. 20. 

Warmoth appointed the Justices, and the court organized on 
the first Monday in November, 1868, in New Orleans, at the Ca- 
bildo, which was used for this purpose for the first time. John 
T. Ludeling, of Ouachita, was Chief Justice ; James G. Taliaferro, 
of Catahoula, W. G. Wyly, of Carroll, R. K. Howell, of Orleans, 
and William Wirt Howe, of New Orleans, Associates. All save 
Howe were antebellum residents of the state, and more or less 
well-known personages. Howe had been a federal soldier, reach- 
ing New Orleans at or just after the capture in 1862, and while 
in the army he had been assigned to various tasks which brought 
him into not unfavorable contact with the people. 

The other judges had already shown their devotion to the 
new regime, but they were given no credit for honesty or good 
faith in their convictions, save by those who were profiting under 
the new conditions or had risen out of the same. The rank and 
file of the white race mistrusted the judges from the start, and 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 55 

there was much in the subsequent course of events to strengthen 
this first impression. 

The court of 1865-68 had been a mere political plaything. It 
was harmless for evil, and, on the contrary, had served a very 
useful purpose ; but the court of 1868-77 was quite a different in- 
stitution. The restoration of the state to the Union meant the 
administration of all its powers and revenues by the new regime. 
The part to be played by the highest court was under such cir- 
cumstances a thing to be considered, but no one dreamed then 
how powerful and useful it was to become. 

The story of the eight years of misrule in Louisiana from 
1868 to 1876 has never been fully told. It is known in its black 
outlines, and even in that shape history affords few parallels for 
the spoliation and demoralization of that time. The Supreme 
Court was a part of the governmental and party system under 
whose auspices and by whose members this gross wrong was 
perpetrated, and contemporary criticism did not separate or spare 
any department. 

The political rulers of that period were a litigious set. In- 
deed, the courts had never been called to decide so many con- 
troversies of a public or quasi public nature. The Supreme Court 
was the battlefield where offices and emoluments were lost and 
won, and these political quarrels were not always aired and ad- 
judicated without leaving scars upon the judicial body. A poli- 
tical history of Louisiana could, indeed, be written from the An- 
nuals of that period, though all other records were destroyed; 
but such history would not be impartial, did it not establish the 
Supreme Court as one of the chief instruments in the overwhelm- 
ing and subjugation of Louisiana by the Republican party. 

Occasionally the current of political misrule would be stem- 
med for a time, and the court had periods of like effort. Howe 
particularly was restive during much of his term, and it is said his 
resignation in 1872 marked his final rebellion against the politi- 
cal methods of the day. 

It is historically indisputable that the eight years of the 
Ludeling court left a bad taste in the mouth of the white people 
of the state. The underlying reason was, of course, found in the 
fact that the great mass of the white population and the bulk of 
the property of the state were unrepresented in the Republican 
Party. The government of the time was by these unrepresented 

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56 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

masses considered to be venal and corrupt. It was regarded as 
a revolutionary creation established by the power of the national 
government, which was always ready to sustain it, and did, in 
fact, maintain it by show of force whenever the reviving Demo- 
cracy seemed able to shake it off. As a corollary it was believed 
that a judiciary sustained under such conditions could not be bet- 
ter than its authors, and consequently it could not and did not 
command the respect and affection which has always been felt 
for the Supreme Court more happily constituted. 

It was charged and believed that the judges were ardent par- 
tisans, active in counsel and advice, and influenced by the leaders 
in all cases having a political aspect. It was the general opinion 
that no argument would convince the court in any case where 
the result would be injurious to the interests of the Republican 
Party, or would tend to advance the prospects of their opponents. 
It was also believed that this intense partisan bias affected the de- 
cision of every case where counsel, parties, or witnesses happened 
to be of opposing political families. 

A tribunal thus always under suspicion, where one particular 
class of litigation was concerned, was, of course, on the defensive 
in all matters; but there is no evidence to sustain any charge 
against the fair conduct of the general business of the court. 

The judges were a strong, forceful body of thinkers. Indeed, 
their undoubted ability and capacity was the bulwark of the 
wicked government under which they served. 

The Annuals from 1868-72 cover a great course of jurispru- 
dence — not even at the beginning of that century were the ques- 
tions at issue so intricate or the matters at stake so important. 
This court was engaged, as had been the case with the first court, 
in rebuilding a government. It was called on to interpret and 
to enforce legislation which was intended to reverse the ancient 
and create a new order of things. 

A study of their decisions helps us to understand other dark 
eras in the history of our race. These judges were contempora- 
ries of the men they now rode with whip and spur; they had 
ripened under the same influences, yet they were vindictive, un- 
yielding partisans who abated not one jolt or tittle in favor of their 
ancient fellowship. So far as in them lay they established black 
^supremacy, and drove the last nail into white authority. They 
wrote a jurisprudence which on racial and public questions was 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 57 

specious and unsound, and it was torn to pieces by the succeed- 
ing court, and by subsequent legislation ; indeed, the whole hope of 
life in this part of the world ran contrary to the ruling dogmas 
of that frightful time, supported by the ability and authority of 
this high tribunal. 

But when we have brought this black indictment, it is our 
duty to say that in other aspects, on general questions of jurispru- 
dence, this bench was the equal of any. No student of the law can 
deny the learning and the strength and ability of the reasoning by 
which many great questions were then settled — decisions which 
have been re-examined and maintained by all succeeding courts. 

The opinions of this period are published in 20-28 Annuals, 
inclusive, with Jacob Hawkins as Reporter until 1873 — a grim, 
stark, hard partisan of the ruling faith, who ultimately resigned 
to take the judgeship of the Superior District Court of Orleans. 
This was a legislative monstrosity created in a wild revel of power 
to rid the dominant faction of a Democratic judge recently elected 
to fill the Eighth District Court of the same parish. A New Or- 
leans newspaper embalmed court and judge in a fierce and 
stinging epigram, which will be found reported in the libel suit 
which ensued. Hawkins v. Publishing Co., 29 La. Ann. 134. 

To succeed Hawkins as Reporter, the Supreme Court ap- 
pointed Charles Gayarre, a gentleman and a scholar of the old 
regime, reduced in fortune and passing in retirement the evening 
of a long and brilliant life. It was a graceful and an unexpected 
act — a gleam of light in a dark period, which may excuse this di- 
gression. Mr. Gayarre remained until that bench was extinguish- 
ed in the overthrow of 1877. 

The court as originally constituted remained unbroken until 
November, 1872, when Howe resigned. The political alignments 
of the day, -strange to tell, had brought Warmoth into touch with 
the Democratic Party and had divided him from the regular fac- 
tion of his own party. Guided by ^his new Associates, Warmoth 
appointed John H. Kennard to succeed Howe, on December 3, 
/872, and Mr. Kennard assumed his duties on the same day, 
and served until February, 1873, when he was unseated, as we 
shall now relate. 

When Warmoth broke from his quondam associates they re- 
sorted to one of the familiar tricks of the time. He was impeach- 
ed, and while this was pending Pinchback, the Lieutenant Gov- 

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58 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

ernor of Louisiana, appointed Philip Hickey Morgan successor 
to Howe. The State Senate did not confirm Kennard, but did 
confirm Morgan on January 4, 1873, and proceedings were 
promptly instituted before the Superior District Court to try title 
to the seat. The suit was brought in the name of the state, on the 
relation of A. P. Field, Attorney General, and was tried sum- 
marily. It was decided below in Morgan's favor, and this judg- 
ment was affirmed in the Supreme Court on January 30, 1873 
(25 La. Ann. 238), and Mr. Morgan produced his commission and 
was seated Saturday, February 1, 1873. The sole reviewable is- 
sue — whether there was due process of law — ^was presented to the 
Supreme Court of the United States by Mr. Kennard, and he lost 
out there also. 92 U. S. 480, 23 L. Ed. 478. Morgan was a lawyer 
of standing and ability, and the bench in this respect lost nothing, 
but the appointment preserved the old political phalanx which 
had been temporarily broken by Kennard's service. 

Taliaferro died in October, 1876, and John E. Leonard was 
appointed by Kellogg, taking his seat at the opening of the Novem- 
ber term, 1876. As a matter of fact the eight-year term of the 
Justices expired by limitation in November, 1876, but the Justices 
continued to sit until December 23, 1876, when the court adjourn- 
ed for the Christmas recess, to meet again on Tuesday, January 
9, 1877. 

During that recess Kellogg reappointed Ludeling Chief 
Justice and Leonard Associate Justice for the full term. He also 
appointed John E. King to succeed Wyley, and announced that 
the places of Morgan and Howell would be filled by "Governor" 

VIII. 1877-1880. 

The state election held on November 7, 1876, was involved in 
the Returning Board troubles of that winter, with the result that 
dual governments were inaugurated in the ensuing January. Al- 
most the first act of Governor Nicholls was the appointment of a 
full bench for the Supreme Court. These persons qualified on 
January 8, 1877, before A. L. Tissot, District Judge of Orleans, 
and early in the morning of the 9th secret preparations were 
made by the Nicholls police and militia to capture the Supreme 
Court building and to seat these judges. 

The Packard government had installed its own police in the 
building, and at 11 o'clock on Tuesday, January 9, 1877, Ludeling, 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 59 

Leonard and King called upon the sheriff to open court, which he 
refused to do, and he was thereupon suspended, and a sheriff ap- 
pointed by the court, who performed the usual ceremony. Opi- 
nions were handed down by Ludeling and Leonard, and on motion 
of the Packarjd Attorney General the court adjourned. 

About noon the NichoUs police demanded the surrender of 
the building, and after some delay physical possession was taken, 
and the NichoUs Justices were brought into the court-room, where 
at noon the court was opened by the sheriff of Orleans parish. 
The commissions of the Justices were spread on the minutes. Al- 
fred Roman was appointed clerk, several motions and orders were 
entered, and a distinguished lawyer of the New Orleans bar pro- 
nounced a mortuary eulogy — not on the old court, but on a re- 
cently deceased district judge — and thereupon the court adjourn- 
ed out of respect to his memory. 

The capture of the courtroom and the installation of these 
Justices was a political master stroke, and gave the NichoUs gov- 
ernment a solidity and authority that was of immense service as 
matters then stood. For a time it was feared President Grant 
would order the dispersal of the court, but ultimately he recogniz- 
ed the status quo and the NichoUs Justices remained in possession 
of the courtroom, which was, moreover, guarded day and night 
by volunteer militia. After President Hayes' inauguration the 
support of the army was withdrawn, and the Packard govern- 
ment disintegrated. 

The court as thus constituted was Thomas Courtland Man- 
ning, of Rapides, Chief Justice; Robert H. Marr, of Orleans, Al- 
cibiade De Blanc, of St. Martin, William B. G. Egan, of Caddo, and 
WiUiam B. Spencer, of Concordia, Associates. They were with- 
out exception leaders of the Democracy, and had taken active part 
in all the stirring events of reconstruction. 

The sixth Chief Justice had served on the bench during the 
War, as previously noted. Marr had been counsel in aU the litiga- 
tion from the Test Oath Case onward, by which n\uch of the evil 
legislation of Congress against the Southern white people had 
been emasculated, and he was also one of the foremost inciters 
of the armed attack on the Kellogg government on September 14, 
1874. De Blanc had been a soldier in Virginia with NichoUs, and 
he was, besides, the foremost citizen of his part of the state, en- 
joying there respect and veneration second only to that extended 

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60 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

to Governor NichoUs. Spencer had held similar positions in his 
special bailiwick. In short, the new Justices were recognized 
everywhere as the flower of the Forlorn Hope which had in- 
cessantly waged war upon the Republican stronghold in this 
state during the seamy years of 1868-1876. 

There were scores of deserving lawyers who could have filled 
the positions with equal skill and dignity. This was particularly 
the case in Orleans parish, where the faith had been kept under 
circumstances of professional loss and judicial ostracism which 
few now living can appreciate. There was, however, no heart- 
burning or sulking among the leaders. On the contrary, they con- 
tinued the good fight here and in Washington until success crown- 
ed the patriotic labor. 

At its first sitting the court entered orders reassigning all 
cases under advisement, and also rearranged the fixed causes so 
that business could be resumed on the day succeeding. The in- 
stallation was necessarily a dramatic spectacle — literally it was 
the act of an embattled people, but the Justices gave no outward 
manifestation that any unusual or extraordinary event was in 
progress. The minutes make no note of the abortive session of 
the evicted judges, nor is any mention made of the physical cap- 
ture of the seats. 

On the next morning, January 10, 1877, the routine business 
was taken up, and thereafter the tribunal never faltered or de- 
layed in the ordinary conduct of affairs. When the rival govern- 
ment passed away forever, the incident fell unnoted upon a court 
secure in the confidence and respect of all the people. 

Percy Roberts succeeded Gayarre as Reporter, and his labors 
cover the prior 1877- April, 1880, that is, 29 to 32 La. Annual, 
inclusive. The cases reported include many interesting commer- 
cial and general questions, and several of transcendent temporary 

Justice Egan died in November, 1878, and Edward Douglass 
White, of Orleans, now Chief Justice of the United States, was 
appointed on January 10, 1879, for the unexpired term. He 
was seated January 13, 1879, and his first reported opinion is 
Charpaux & Valette v. Bellocq, 31 La. Ann. 165-169. A common- 
place issue is here dissected by a sound civilian, and the conclu- 
sions are illuminated by an argument that could only have been 
made by a devoted student of the principles of the civil law. The 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 61 

opinion is, furthermore, a notable illustration of White's judicial 
methods — the concise, lucid statement, the separation of the issue, 
the massing of words, each chosen for its power in the onset, the 
march of the argument to the irresistible conclusion — all these are 
developed and displayed with an art and skill that delight the 
laboring craftsman. 

Considering the circumstances preceding their appointment, 
it is remarkable that few cases of a political nature reached this 
court. It was current gossip that there was an understanding 
that an amnesty or truce would be observed by the new govern- 
ment concerning all political offenses. 

In any event,*there were only two cases which brought up the 
past. One was called a "State Trial," and was followed with gen- 
eral interest. This was an indictment by the state against T. C. 
Anderson, member of the Returning Board, which it was claimed 
had reversed the will of the voters in the state and presidential 
elections of 1876. He was charged with altering, forging, and 
counterfeiting -the returns of the presidential election in Vernon 
parish, and he was convicted before the Superior Criminal Court 
of Orleans. The information was quashed in the Supreme Court 
on a technicality, and the defendant was not further prosecuted. 
The opinion of the court gave opportunity to express some strong 
views concerning the offense, and it was, indeed, a case that could 
easily have been determined the other way, if the new regime had 
been imbued with a desire for revenge. See State v. Anderson, 30 
La. Ann. 557. 

The other case was the contested election over the office of 
sheriff of Lafourche, and it is historically interesting, showing 
the political methods of that day. The court here determined in 
favor of the Democratic candidate. See Webre v. Wilton, 29 La. 
Ann. 610. 

Two other cases should be noted: 29 La. Ann. 590, where 
the court decided that the decrees of courts held within the Con- 
federate lines were valid and binding. The state of war then 
existing was shown by authority not to affect the ordinary course 
of legal proceedings with parties properly impleaded. The Juris- 
diction was maintained and the judgment held to be res adjudi- 

In Southern Bank v. Mayor, etc., 31 La. Ann. 1, the consti- 
tutionality of the consolidated bond debt of the city of New Or- 

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62 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

leans was attacked, and the court sustained the assault and in- 
validated the issue. This case was an extremely important one, 
and its effect was to release the municipality from a great part of 
its indebtedness. The decision was, however, reversed by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States in 105 U. S. 302, 26 L. Ed. 1090. 

The new government had scarcely been secured in its author- 
ity before an agitation for a new Constitution gathered head, and 
in July, 1879. a Constitution was adopted which shortened the 
terms of the Justices, and provided for a reorganization of the 
court in April, 1880. 

The necessity for this action was not evident then, and his- 
torically is classed under that ingratitude of rulers which the old 
proverb impresses. The executive, legislative, and judicial depart- 
ments had each borne the brunt, and throguh their efforts the 
state had been restored to its proper place among representative 
governments. A vote of no confidence was hardly to be expected, 
nor is it justified in history, even though it constantly teaches 
that the ways of politics are not always scrutable. The writer 
still recalls his own poignant suffering over the discard of these 
Justices, whom all the young men of that time regarded as per- 
sonal friends, and to whose consideration he particularly owes 
the ability to take an official part in this ceremony. 

The personal characteristics of the Justices of the court of 
1877-1880 needs a separate essay. Indeed, a study of the work 
of the Chief Justice alone would yield much material to interest 
and entertain. The pure, chaste, and elegant English of his 
opinions was not infrequently sweetened by an Attic salt, though 
sometimes he used a coarser material. He had a dignity of per- 
son — a carriage — which seemed very natural to his intimates, 
but which was responsible for many stories. This habit affected 
his conduct in many little ways; for instance, his signature was 
seldom other than his surname, and, one of his contemporaries 
speaking of this affection said, there were only a few men in the 
history of the race who claimed the right: "Moses, Caesar, Na- 
poleon — Manning." 

After his retirement Judge Manning edited and published the 
unreported cases decided by the Supreme Court during his term 
as Chief Justice — a valuable addition to the reports of the state. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 63 

IX. 1879-1898. 

The Constitution of 1879 created a Supreme Court on the 
frame of its predecessors. The Justices were apportioned to 
four districts, covering the whole state. Two were allotted to the 
First District, comprising Orleans, and the five circumjacent 
river parishes. The salary was reduced to $5,000, and the term 
lengthened to twelve years; the four Associates first appointed 
to go out at intervals of two years, their successors to be commis- 
sioned for the full term. 

Minimum jurisdiction was based on a value in civil cases of 
$1,000, and appeals in suits for divorce and separation from bed 
and board were made justiciable by express grant, and for the 
first time in any Constitution of the state. In other respects the 
powers of the court remained as before, but a new element was 
added by article 90 providing that it should "have control and 
general supervision over all inferior courts." The profession 
rather hastily assumed that under the writs granted in the same 
artioie tiie <XMtrt was empowered to review any case where the 
lawML of bet aBd Isw would be presented on the record, but the 
ooort qwckly constmed this gniit in a way to shut off the legal 
avalanche that would have followed the first impression. 

The Justices were appointed by Governor Wiltz, and the 
court organized on Monday, April 5, 1880, at New Orleans, with 
Edward Bermudez* of Orleans, Chief Justice ; Felix P. Poche, of 
St. James, Robert B. Todd, of Morehouse, William M. Levy, of 
Natchitoches, and Charles E. Fenner, of Orleans, Associates. The 
new corps of judges were lawyers of standing in their respective 
domiciles, and three of them were destined to leave a deep im- 
pression on the judicial record. 

The seventh Chief Justice was a Creole, and yielded to none 
in pride of race and position. He was the son of Joachim Ber- 
mudez, sometime parish judge in Orleans under the Constitution 
of 1812, who had ruled for many years with a determination and 
authority that furnished one of the best arguments for the aboli- 
tion of that judicial system. 

The Chief Justice was in 1880 in his prime — a big, vigorous 
man, with a will of iron. He was a ripe scholar in the texts of 
the civil law, and was obsessed with a conviction that mastery of 
this science entitled his opinions to unqualified respect. At the 
bar he was apt to be censorious, particularly to the juniors who 

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64 The Louisiana Historical Qvxirterly 

crossed swords on his chosen field. There is no doubt that on the 
bench he earnestly endeavored to discover the light hidden per- 
haps under the bushel by counsel presenting such questions, but 
it was a great and costly expenditure of his strength and a severe 
trial to his temper, and he did not always persevere in his good 
intentions. He had a habit that grew on him, to state a proposi- 
tion and then to sustain it with great array of authorities, usually 
by citation of book and folio without the title of the case. Typo- 
graphical and other familiar mischances sometimes made verifi- 
cation of these references a grim satire, which the bar was not 
slow to advertise. 

The senior associate. Poche, was also a Creole and a civilian, 
but he had more savoir faire, and did not ride full tilt upon the 
point at issue with all his armor clanking and rattling. When he 
disagreed with an argument he could say so with as much skill 
as the Chief Justice, but he did not add to it the terror of voice 
and gesture, nor seek to overwhelm by a rush of citation. At first 
the two Creoles seemed to work with one mind, but Poche gradual- 
ly ceased to lean on the Chief Justice, and when some case would 
bring about a disagreement the jurisprudence would be inriched 
by the clash of two strong, tenacious disputants, each pouring 
out a store of knowledge in the effect to overthrow the ideas of the 

Fenner was in all respects the antitype of these two. He was 
a master of precise thought, and clothed his argument in expres- 
sive language. Deeply versed in both systems, he had in this 
respect an advantage over Bermudez and Poche — a mental ambi- 
dexterity which often carried the point by mere weight of reason- 

In the appointments Wiltz had given the shortest term to 
Fenner, four years, and he was reappointed in 1884. Levy had 
the six-year term, Todd eight, and Poche ten years. Levy died 
in the recess of 1882, and Judge Manning came back to the bench 
under appointment of Governor McEnery, to fill the remainder 
of Levy's term. He thus achieved the distinction of being thrice a 
member of the court under different commissions and Constitu- 
tions. He was not reappointed, however, and Lynn B. Watkins, 
of Red River, was named by McEnery on April 19, 1886. for the 
new term of twelve years, and he was reappointed in 1898. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 65 

On the expiration of Justice Todd's term, Ex-Governor 
Samuel D. McEnery took the place by appointment of Governor 
Nicholls on June 11, 1888, and in 1900 he was reappointed for 
twelve years. 

Poche's term expired in 1890, and he was succeeded by Jos- 
eph A. Breaux, of New Iberia, who was appointed by Governor 
Nicholls on April 5, 1890, and reappointed in 1902. 

The term of Chief Justice Bermudez expired in 1892, and he 
was replaced by Francis T. Nicholls, appointed by Governor Fos- 
ter April 5, 1892. The eighth Chief Justice had just surrendered 
the Governor's chair to Foster, whose first act was this appoint- 
ment. In April, 1904, Chief Justice Nicholls was reappointed, 
but under the rule of the Constitution of 1898, he came back as 
an Associate Justice, and Breaux. the senior Associate Justice, 
advanced to the seat of Chief Justice. 

In 1893 Fenner resigned, and Charles Parlange was commis- 
sioned for the remainder of that term by Governor Foster on Sep- 
tember 1, 1893. 

In 1894 Parlange accepted President Cleveland's appoint- 
ment to be judge of the United States District Court for the 
Eastern District of Louisiana, and accordingly resigned as Justice 
of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. 

On February 1, 1894, Henry C. Miller, of Orleans, was ap- 
pointed in Parlange's place, and in 1896 he was commissioned 
for a full term. 

In 1894, Act 69, p. 80, the Legislature repealed the itinerary 
system under which the court had held country sessions in mid- 
summer ever since 1812. By this statute the seat of justice was 
fixed at New Orleans, and all appeals were made returnable 
thereto at stated periods for each district. For some time before 
the passage of the act of 1894 the court was sitting in the summer 
and fall of each year at Monroe, Opelousas, and Shreveport. 

In 1896, Act 66, p. 98, the court was authorized to hear and 
decide in chambers out of term time all matters addressed to its 
supervisory jurisdiction. 

Under the rule established in these laws the court sat at New 
Orleans from the first Monday of November to the end of June. 

This was afterwards changed to begin on the first Monday in 
October, by Act 149 of 1906. 

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66 The Louisiana Historical Qimrterly 

By Act 92 of 1900, p. 150. the old system of particular return 
days was abolished, and now all appeals are returnable in not less 
than fifteen nor more than sixty days. 

In 1897 Justice McEnery resigned to accept the office of 
Senator from Louisiana in the Congress of the United States, 
and on March 4, 1897, Governor Foster appointed Newton C. 
Blanchard for the remainder of McEnery's term. The latter 
had just finished his term as Senator, from Louisiana. 

The Reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court became 
a Constitutional officer in 1879 (art. 88). 

During the period 1880-1897 the opinions were reported by 
Henry Denis, of the New Orleans bar, from 1880 to 1895, cover- 
ing 32 La. Annual 521 to 46 La. Annual, inclusive. Commencing 
with 47 Annual (1895), Walter H. Rogers, also a New Orleans 
lawyer, reported the decisions until 50 Annual, inclusive (1898). 

The work of the court under the Constitution of 1879 has 
been part of the every-day life of your Honors, and is, I am glad to 
say, equally familiar to many of those who are participating in 
this ceremony. Speaking with first knowledge. Judge Fenner 
said, in his eulogy on Poch6 June 22, 1895 (45 An. )» that the work 
was performed "in a formative period of our jurisprudence, in- 
volving the interpretation of a new and original Constitu- 
tion, bristling with novel principles, powers, and limitations, 
and requiring the entire readjustment of our jurisprudence 
on many subjects and its adaptation to changed conditions"; 
and he said further that the court had succeeded "in the 
momentous task of putting into operation the complicated machi- 
nery of the new government, so that it should run with the 
least possible friction or injury to essential principles or indivi- 
dual right and governmental power, and above all in harmony 
with the Constitution of the United States." 

X. 1898-1913. 
On November 12, 1898, a new constitution was adopted, and 
great and fundamental changes were made in the judiciary system 
of the state. The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was 
broadened, and the minimum value of $2,000, established as a 
basis by the constitutional amendment which had been proposed 
by Act 125 of 1882, was retained. Original jurisdiction was con- 
ferred wherever necessary to enable it to determine questions of 
fact affecting its own jurisdiction in any case pending before it. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 67 

A new matter of great importance was the grant of original 
jurisdiction in all matters touching professional misconduct, with 
power to disbar. 

The salary was left in the legislative discretion, not to be less, 
however, than $5,000. The term remained twelve years, and the 
Governor retained the appointive power, but a new feature was 
introduced, providing that when the office of Chief Justice be- 
comes vacant the Associate Justice longest in service shall by 
virtue of that service become Chief Justice. 

The session was limited to New Orleans without any author- 
ity to the Legislature to prescribe other places. 

Power was granted to the court to provide for reporting the 
decisions and for the publication thereof by contract to the 
lowest bidder. Publication of concurring and dissenting opinions 
was, however, prohibited. The judicial history of our race should 
have been a warning against legislation of this character. 

A meager allowance was made for the employment of ama- 
nuenses by the Justices. 

The Legislature was required to make provision for a suitable 
and commodious building for the court and its records — ^a clause 
which was carried into effect in a worthy and generous way by 
the erection of the house in which the court now sits. 

At the time the Constitution of 1898 became effective the 
roll of the Supreme Court was as follows : Nicholls, Chief Justice ; 
Watkins, Breaux, Miller, and Blanchard, Associates. 

The schedule provided that the Supreme Court here estab- 
lished should be construed to be the same court as the one then 
existing, and that all persons in office at the adoption of the Con- 
stitution should serve until the expiration of existing terms. 

In 1899 Justice Miller died, and Francis A. Monroe was ap- 
pointed on March 22, 1899, and served the remainder of Miller's 
term, and in 1908 was elected by the people and without opposition 
to the term he is now filling — ^the first judge of the Supreme 
Court to be elected by the people since Duffel's election in 1860. 
At the time of his appointment Justice Monroe had been sitting 
continuously since 1876 on the district bench of Orleans parish. 

In 1901 Justice Watkins died, and Olivier O. Provosty, of 
Pointe Coupee, was appointed his successor on March 16, 1901, 
and in 1910 was elected to a new term. 

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In 1903 Justice Blanchard resigned in order to enter the can- 
vass for the Democratic nomination for the office of Governor of 
Louisiana, and Alfred D. Land was appointed to the vacancy by 
Governor Heard on October 17, 1903. Justice Land was a candi- 
date for renomination, but was defeated by Luther E. Hall, now 
Governor of Louisiana, who resigned before his judicial term 
began, and after being elected Governor. Thereupon Justice 
Land was re-elected in 1912 without opposition. 

On April 4, 1904, Justice Breaux was advanced to Chief 
Justice, under the rule of seniority, the term of Chief Justice 
Nicholls having expired. The Ninth Chief Justice will continue to 
hold that office until April, 1914, when his second term of twelve 
years will have expired. 

In November, 1904, an amendment to the Constitution was 
adopted, making the office of Justice of the Supreme Court 
elective by the people. 

Another amendment of the same year leaves the court dis- 
cretion to regulate its session, provided it shall begin "not later 
than the first Monday in the month of November, and ending 
not sooner than June 30th." However, by Act 149 of 1906, before 
referred to, the Legislature itself fixed the term to begin on the 
first Monday of October. 

In 1906 (Act 74, p. 115) the Legislature increased the salary 
to $6,000. 

In 1910, by constitutional amendment, it was established that 
any Justice may retire at the age of seventy-five, on fulV pay, 
after not less than fifteen years' continuous service. 

In 1911 Justice Nicholls retired under this law, and Walter 
B. Sommerville, of Orleans, was elected in his place in March, 

In the October term, 1910, the Supreme Court moved from 
the Cabildo into the new courthouse. 

And now, on this 1st day of March, 1913, the court is com- 
posed of Joseph A. Breaux, Chief Justice; Francis A. Monroe, 
Olivier O. Provosty, Alfred D. Land, and Walter B. Sommerville. 

Under the authority conferred by the Constitution, the con- 
tract for the publication of the Reports was first let to a local 
publisher who printed the volumes down to 108 La., inclusive. 
Thereafter the West Publishing Company received the contract. 
It had been publishing a rival edition. With volume 109 the Re- 
port appears in double-column pages. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 69 

In 1900 (Act 87, p. 135) the Legislature authorized the State 
Printer/ with the approval of the judges of the Supreme Court, 
to contract with "a competent lawyer" to edit and index the deci- 
sions of the court before publication thereof. The act eliminated 
the office of "Reporter to the Supreme Court," and the opinions 
are now published with the name of the editor. 

Thomas H. Thorpe succeeded Walter H. Rogers as Reporter 
in 1899 (51 An.), and he became the first editor under the act 
of 1900, and continued in office until 1907 (118 La.) , when he was 
succeeded by Charles G. Gill, who is the present incumbent. 

In June, 1900, the court by order closed the series Louisiana 
Annual, and directed that the name Louisiana Reports should 
hereafter be used, and that the volumes should be numbered in 
sequence from 1 Martin. Volume 52 is the last Annual, and Vol. 
104 La. Reports, of 1900-1901, begins the new series. These vol- 
umes are published whenever the opinions make 900 pages of 
printed matter. 

These annuals ought not to close without a reference to 
Thomas McCabe Hyman, late Clerk of the Supreme Court. He 
was one of the sons of the Chief Justice of 1864-68, and; from 
early youth had been attached to the clerk's office. He was sin- 
gularly gifted in the art of conducting a public office. He was 
the trusted friend of court and bar, and his sudden and unex- 
pected death touched a sympathetic chord in every precinct where 
lawyers gather. 


I have endeavored to tell the early history of this court with 
as much detail as the occasion permitted. I have used some dis- 
cretion with the central portion of the story, and, for reasons 
which are obvious, have condensed the concluding period to a 
meager record. I have not attempted to follow the early or later 
careers of the judges, except where some incident has thrust it- 
self across my path, but I have told sufficient to indicate that 
this bench has been occupied by many men whom the state de- 
lighted to honor, and who have, as a body, deserved the respect 
of the historian. A more minute inspection might show here 
and there an individual blemish, but, considering that in the 
space of one hundred years some sixty-five judges have ad- 
ministered the law in this place of last resort, it is on the whole a 
pleasing and instructive verdict that history must record. 

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In the early years of our jurisprudence the judges were un- 
hampered by constitutional and legislative restrictions, and they 
did not find it difficult to do exact justice by hewing a path close 
to conscience, common sense, and just reasoning. For many years 
the tendency of legislation has been to restrict the magistrates by 
hard and fast rules, but aside from this there has been so much 
written and said, so much discussed and decided, in the courts of 
the world that there is now little room for original thinking and 
not much opportunity to create new precedent. 

Viewing the jurisprudence of a hundred years with these 
thoughts in mind, we are constrained to insist that the judges of 
today have nevertheless made an impression upon their time as 
vivid and as lasting as that made by their great predecessors. 

Under the text of our Code the judge is bound to proceed and 
decide according to equity where there is no express law, and, to 
decide equitably, an appeal is made to natural law or received 
usages, when positive law is silent. Under the grant of power in 
the last Constitution this court is able to reach usurpation and in- 
justice, whether attempted by or against the highest or the low- 
est denizen of the land. Its capacity for good is bounded only by 
the physical strength of its membership. Your right to review the 
facts is the most precious possession of the litigant. There 
has been complaint that it is not always possible to ac- 
quaint the entire bench with the facts of each case and 
there have been occasions when these fancied or real complaints 
have been made matters of public discussion. This court has pow- 
er to minimize such complaints, and under Act 70 of 1884, page 
93, it is believed that you can establish any rule which would tend 
to a better administration of justice. It is thought that a printed 
record would materially assist in the study of the facts, together 
with a requirement that counsel should, in briefs, admit or con- 
cede undisputed facts; or, better still, that they should draw a 
statement of facts verified by the printed record. All these 
things might be effected by a mere order of the court, and such 
order would doubtless meet universal approval. 

The New Practice Act of 1912 (157, p. 225) has furnished an 
entering wedge which should be driven home by the appellate 

The fundamental features of the high court of Louisiana, 
wherein it differs in whole or in part from all other tribunals. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 71 

are : that it sits as a court of law and equity, exercising both func- 
tions in the same case, under pleadings wherein the issue is re- 
duced to its simplest form. That it is bound to review the facts 
in all civil cases within its appellate jurisdiction. That it may, 
under such review, remand, affirm, or reverse, or render the 
proper judgment which the facts and the law or the justice and 
the right of the case require. That it may supervise and control 
the course of any inferior court in any case when justice re- 
quires its intervention, and as a corollary render such judgment 
as the circumstances require. That, aside from this control over 
the issues and the litigants, it is vested with control over the of- 
ficers who minister to justice at its bar. 

With all this vast power the machinery of the court should 
move resistlessly to the end of complete justice, based upon a 
thorough understanding and appreciation of the facts of the case. 
Holding fast to the idea that the right of review upon the facts 
must never be yielded, it is the hope and the prayer of all who 
serve honestly and fearlessly before you that some method may 
soon be found for presenting the issue in this court in such shape 
that no man may ever hereafter be able to say, "We have been 
judged without proper knowledge of the record." 

When I was selected for the task now completed I said that 
no one man could do the subject justice within the time allotted 
for its fulfillment, and that first impression I now sorrowfully 
confirm. The field of information is uncharted ; the records are 
incomplete; the lives of the men who have made our jurispru- 
dence are to a large extent unwritten; and I am conscious that 
my effort is at best only a mere scratching of the surface, but, 
after having lived with my task during every moment that I could 
steal from other duties, I leave it with the conviction that there 
lies here for some master mind a gr§at and splendid story which, 
when written, will light up the history of Louisiana and confer 
a laurel upon the historian. 

The Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. 

By Charles Payne Fenner, of the New Orleans Bar, 
Professor of Civil Law, Tulane University 
Law School. 
We have assembled today, lawyers for the most part, to cele- 
brate the centennial anniversary of the organization of the Su- 

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preme Court of the state, the tribunal which for a hundred years, 
except in the comparatively rare case in which federal questions 
have been presented, has been the last resort of its citizens in con- 
troversies involving their rights to life, liberty, property, and the 
pursuit of happiness. 

It is an impressive occasion. 

It would be impossible to overestimate the importance of the 
function in our social and governmental system which has been 
discharged by this court, or the debt of gratitude under which it 
has placed the people of the state for the manner in which in the 
main that function has been discharged. 

It is in every way fitting, therefore, that on this, its cen- 
tennial anniversary, we, its officers, should appropriately com- 
memorate its services. 

The occasion is naturally suggestive of reminiscences of the 
bench and bar, of the great judges who have in the past occu- 
pied the bench, and of the great lawyers who in the past 
have striven mightily at this bar — reminiscences which could not 
fail to be interesting and inspiring. But these are to be dealt 
with by others, abler to do so than myself. 

I have been asked to say something in regard to the juris- 
prudence of the court. 

I confess that I have been puzzled as to how to deal ap- 
propriately with the subject. We lawyers find it difficult enough, 
heaven knows, to deal with the jurisprudence of the court on the 
particular questions which are presented to us from day to day ; 
and to be called upon to discourse on the general jurisprudence of 
a hundred years is indeed a trifle staggering. 

In the difficulty in which I found myself after I had accepted 
this portentous call, it occurred to me that perhaps a few observa- 
tions in relation to the extent to which, as the result of our pecu- 
liar system of law, our jurisprudence differs from that of our 
sister states would not be deemed wholly inappropriate to the 

There is, I think, a very general impression among our com- 
mon-law brethren that the nature and extent of this difference 
are much greater than they really are. Their attitude with regard 
to our courts is well illustrated by a remark attributed to one of 
the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States after 
listening to an arjrument in a Louisiana case. He is said to have 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 73 

remarked to Judge White : "Brother White, I think you had bet- 
ter take that case. I should not like to undertake it. I fear I 
might be homologated." 

It is true, of course, that our terminology is in some respecta 
very different from that of the common law, and that upon many 
important subjects our law and jurisprudence differ radically 
from those of the common law states. It is true, nevertheless, that 
our jurisprudence generally differs from that of the common- 
law states to nothing like the extent that is generally supposed by 
common-law lawyers, and to nothing like the extent that might 
perhaps be a priori expected when it is considered that we have a 
written code of substantive law based upon the civil as con- 
tradistinguished from the common law. 

For despite this fact, it is true that in a very large propor- 
tion of the cases decided by this court the law to be applied is 
sought from the same sources and by the same methods as are 
resorted to in the common-law states of the Union. 

From the point of view of theory, the jurisprudence of a 
state in which the whole body of the substantive law has been 
subjected to the process of codification might be expected to dif- 
fer radically in nature and extent from that of states in which 
prevails the so-called unwritten law. 

One of the chief purposes of codification is to make the law 
certain, and in proportion that this purpose is accomplished, it 
might naturally be supposed that the volume of litigation and of 
jurisprudence (using the latter term in the sense of reported 
judicial decisions), would be correspondingly diminished. 

And so, too, whether in regard to judicial action in the do- 
main of the unwritten law, we agree with the great apostle of codi- 
fication, Jeremy Bentham, that the judges really make the law, 
or with his opponents that they simply declare it, it is quite ob- 
vious that the function of a court in interpreting and enforcing 
a written statute differs very radically from that performed by a 
similar tribunal in ascertaining and applying the unwritten law. 

With all due appreciation of the force of the claim made by 
the opponents of codification that under the system of unwritten 
law the judges do not make but simply ascertain and apply the 
law, it is still true, I think, that the difference between the func- 
tion discharged by the judges in the two cases is very great, and 
may, without much inaccuracy, be described as the difference be- 

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74 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

tween declaring what the law is and declaring what in their opi- 
nion the law ought to be, always, of course, in the latter case, with 
proper regard to established precedents and to the rule of stare 
• decisis. 

In the one case, the court is concerned simply with the mean- 
ing of certain written words; in the other, it is called upon, in 
the light of custom, reason, and precedent decisions based upon 
the same considerations, to announce what, in its opinion, is the 
rule of law which ought to be applied in the particular case pre- 
sented for determination. 

Theoretically, therefore, it might very naturally be supposed 
that the body of jurisprudence of a state in which the substantive 
law has been codified would differ very materially, both in vol- 
ume and in kind, from that of the states in which thei substan- 
tive law is in the main unwritten, in the sense that it has the 
not been enacted in the form of a statutory command. And where, 
as in the case we are considering, the code of substantive law 
in the one state is based upon the civil law as contradistinguished 
from the common law prevailing in the others, we might naturally 
expect the difference in question to be still more radical. 

According to the theory of the advocates of codification, we 
should expect, in the first place, that as the result of the certainty 
attained through codification, the volume of jurisprudence in the 
code state would be very much smaller. 

We should expect, in the second place, to find the jurispru- 
dence of the code state to consist in the main simply of codal in- 
terpretations, or, as one of the violent opponents of codification 
express it, simply "in the interpretation of words." 

It might be expected, finally, that there would be in every 
branch of the law fundamental differences of jurisprudence re- 
flecting the differences between the civil and common law 

Whatever may be true in this regard in the case of other 
states and countries which have enacted codes of substantive law 
based upon the civil-law system, I think it must be admitted that 
in Louisiana, particularly of recent years, these differences are 
much less marked than might, from the point of view of the be- 
lievers in the theory of codification, be a priori expected. 

•I do not think, in the first place, that it can be justly claimed 
that as the result of codification, we have attained a greater cer- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 75 

tainty in the law which has relatively diminished the volume of 
litigation, even as regards those subjects which are specifically 
covered by the Code. Our experience and that of France in this 
respect would seem to justify the claim of the opponents of codifi- 
cation that the limitations of human capacity for written ex- 
pression are such as to make the attainment of certainty in a 
written code of substantive law well-nigh, impossible. 

In France, for instance, I think the following statement by an 
eminent advocate of the theory of codification, Mr. Sheldon Amos, 
must be admitted to be well founded. He says: 

"It is well known, for instance, that the set of French Codes, 
which in time became the most comprehensive and self- 
dependent of all, have been completely overridden by the inter- 
pretations of successive and voluminous conmientators, as 
well as by the constantly accruing decisions of the Court of Cassa- 
tion. In France, as was intimated before, in treating of another 
subject, there can be no reliance in any given case as to whether 
a judge will defer to the authority of his predecessors, or will 
rather recognize the current weight attached to an eminent com- 
mentator, or will extemporize an entirely novel view of the law. 
The greatest possible uncertainty and vacillation that have ever 
been charged against English law are little more than insigni- 
ficant aberrations when compared with what a French advocate 
has to prepare himself for when called upon to advise a client." 

With us, partly, perhaps, because we have had no commenta- 
tors, but principally because we have fully adopted the common 
rule of stare decisis, the uncertainties of codal interpretation have 
not been so niarked. Speaking relatively, however, I do not think 
it can be justly claimed that our jurisprudence exhibits any ma- 
terial gain in legal certainty as the result of codification. 

It is certainly not true either that our jurisprudence consists 
wholly, or indeed in the main, of mere codal interpretations, or 
"in the interpretation of words." The most cursory examination 
of our reports, particularly those of comparatively recent years, 
will discover that in a very large proportion of the decided cases 
the rule of law applied has been deduced from the same sources 
and by exactly the same process as would be resorted to in a 
similar case in any common-law state, and there are lawyers in 
this city engaged in important branches of practice who rarely 
have occasion to consult the Code. 

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That this is due in some measure to the fact that both our 
judges and lawyers too frequently "sin the sin" of resorting to 
common-law authorities when the true rule for decision might be 
found in the Code I thing must be admitted. Forming as we do, 
in effect, an integral part of a much larger community with the 
other component parts of which we are united by the strong- 
est ties of race, blood, and common interest, and in all of which 
the common-law system prevails, there is naturally manifested 
in our jurisprudence a strong and ever-present tendency to con- 
form to common-law standards. And that this has resulted not 
infrequently in unjustified departures from the letter of the Code 
is doubtless true. It is to this tendency which Mr. James C. Car- 
ter, sometime leader of the American bar, referred, when in one 
of his philippics against the theory of codification, he said in 
reference to Louisiana: 

"The defects so strikingly characteristic of French jurispru- 
dence would have been repeated here (in Louisiana) but for the 
practical good sense which has been exhibited by the bench and 
bar of that state. Largely imbued with the principles and methods 
of the English common law, they have looked to that body of 
jurisprudence, so far as the Code permitted them, as containing 
the real sources of the law, and have fully adopted its maxim of 
stare decisis. Nothing is more observable than the extent to 
which the English and American reports and text-books are cited 
as authoritative in that state. It would seem that the courts, ex- 
cept where there is some provision of the Code directly in point, 
and except in those cases where the civil law, which lies at the 
basis of the legal system of Louisiana, notoriously differs from the 
common law, seek the rule in any given case, in the same quarters 
in which it is sought by us, and then inquire, if the occasion arises, 
whether there is anything in the Code inconsistent with the rule 
thus found." 

The appeal here to common-law authorities is justified, more- 
over, in many cases, because upon many subjects, as the result of 
the extent to which the earlier common-law judges, in the forma- 
tive period of English jurisprudence, adopted the principles of the 
civil law, there are no very material differences between the two 

The very liberal admixture of common-law principles and 
methods of decision in our jurisprudence is, I think, due, in the 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 77 

main, however, to quite another cause, viz., that in a very large 
proportion of the cases which are presented to our courts our 
Code furnishes no definite rule for decision. 

And this must ever be true with any code of substantive 
law. Civilization has certainly not yet attained a condition of 
stability in which it is possible, in the nature of things, that 
statutory rules can be enacted at any one time to cover all the 
varying groupings of fact which may arise in the future, and it 
is therefore entirely impossible to wholly supplant the unwritten 

This was not, indeed, the theory of Bentham, the great Eng- 
lish apostle of condification. His theory was that nothing could 
be law except an enactment of the Legislature ; that the so-called 
unwritten law, or, as he called it, "judge-made law," should be 
wholly extirpated; that it was practicable to provide by statute 
for every future case ; and that if a case should arise for the deci- 
sion of which no statutory rule could be found, it should simply 
remain undecided. 

In his celebrated letter'to President Madison, he said: 
"Yes, sir, so long as there remains even the smallest scrap of 
unwritten law unextirpated, it suffices to taint with its own cor- 
ruption — its own inbred and incurable corruption — ^whatsoever 
portion of statute law has ever been, or can ever be, applied to it." 
Most of his disciples, however, have abandoned this arrogant 
theory of their master. They admit that it is impossible to pro- 
vide in a code rules for the decision of all possible future cases, 
and that when a case does arise which is not covered by the Code, 
it must nevertheless be decided, and that in such case the un- 
written law must be resorted to. 

This was admitted by Mr. Field, who in his Introduction to 
the Civil Code, proposed by him for adoption in New York, said : 

"This Code is undoubtedly the most important and difficult 
of all ; and of this it is true that it cannot provide for all possible 
cases which the future may disclose. It does not profess to pro- 
vide for them. All that it professes is to give the general rules 
upon the subjects to which it relates which are now known and 

And such was the theory of the codif iers of France and Lou- 

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78 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

In France, article 4 of the Code Napoleon reads : 
"The judge who shall refuse to decide a case upon the 
ground that the law is silent, obscure, or insufficient may be pro- 
secuted as guilty of a denial of justice." 

That under the terms of this article it is the duty of the 
French judges, in all cases presenting questions in regard to 
which the statute law is silent or insufficient, to decide the ques- 
tion nevertheless in accordance with equity, reason, and custom, 
in other words, to resort for decision to the unwritten law, is well 
settled. The article was inserted in view of the injustice which 
had resulted in France prior to the Code Napoleon from the exer- 
cise by the judges of the power to refer such cases to the legisla- 
tive department of the government for solution ; the solution be- 
ing by way of making a law to fit the case. It was admitted that 
the exercise by the judges of the function thus delegated to them 
was in a certain sense legislative. But as between what seemed 
to them two evils, that of making the judge a legislator or that of 
making the Legislature a judge, the French codifiers, for ob- 
vious reasons, chose the former as the lesser. 

And so with us it is expressly pi'ovided by article 21 of the 

"In all civil matters, where there is no express law, the 
judge is bound to proceed and decide according to equity. To 
decide equitably, an appeal is to be made to natural law and 
reason or received usages, where positive law is silent." 

It is clear that here is a recognition of the unwritten law in 
the broadest sense, with a designation of the sources from which 
it is to be derived that are identical with those to which common- 
law judges have resorted from the beginning. And when it is 
remembered that our Code was framed nearly a hundred years 
ago, and that there has probably never been a period in which the 
novelty of the conjunctures challenging judicial inquiry has been 
greater than during the period since that time, it ought not to be 
a matter of surprise that a very large proportion of our juris- 
prudence has consisted in the declaration and application of the 
unwritten law. 

And when we consider further the inevitable tendency to- 
ward uniformity of custom, and therefore of law and jurispru- 
dence, which always obtains among people united as are the peo- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 79 

pie of this state with those of her sister states, it should be still 
less a matter of surprise that our judges, in seeking to decide ac- 
cording to equity, reason, and received usages, should have re- 
sorted in the main to the majestic fabric of common-law juris- 
prudence rather than to the comparatively unfamiliar and inac- 
cessible authorities of the civil law. 

And so it has resulted, as might have been expected by any 
student of the forces which always and inexorably shape the law 
and jurisprudence of any free people, that despite the fact that a 
hundred years ago we adopted a code of substantive law based 
upon the civil, as contradistinguished from the common law, our 
jurisprudence ig to a very large extent based, and confesi^edly 
based, upon the common law. 

I trust that nothing that I have said will be construed as an 
attack upon the theory of codification, or as indicating any gen- 
eral dissatisfaction with the practical results of the application 
of that theory in Louisiana. My purpose has been simply to in- 
dicate some of the limitations of the theory as discovered in the 
jurisprudence of the state. I have not intended to discuss or to 
express any opinion upon the general expediency of the codifi- 
cation of private substantive law. And by private substantive 
law, I mean the law regulating the conduct of men in their rela- 
tions with each other as individuals, as contradistinguished from 
the law regulating their conduct in relation to society or govern- 
ment, which may be termed. "Public Law.** 

As a result of the scant study I have been able to give the 
subject, my impression is that the expediency of such codification 
depends upon the conditions existing in the state or country in 
which it is proposed, and that no general rule can be safely an- 
nounced on the subject. For Louisiana, in view of the conditions 
which existed at the time she was admitted into the Union, I am 
quite convinced that codification was necessary. If I lived in a 
common-law state of this Unioft, I think I should be opposed to 
it. The question is, however, too big for any one to venture a 
definite judgment upon it without special study, and certainly en- 
tirely too big to be treated incidentally. 

I should also be very much concerned if I thought any one 
was likely to construe anything I have said today as indicating a 
lack of appreciation of the civil law, or a preference for the com- 
mon law as a system of jurisprudence. This is a question entire- 

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ly distinct from the question of codification. The civil or Roman 
law had been developed by the great Roman jurisconsults into the 
most scientific and consistent system of unwritten law that the 
world has yet seen ; four centuries before the Corpus Juris Civilis 
was promulgated, and the Pandects, or Digest, of Justinian, the 
one of the three works constituting the Corpus Juris that covered 
the field of private law, was really not a code in the modem 
sense of that term. It was an abridgment of the treatises of the 
great jurisconsults of a former age of Roman jurisprudence, 
which during that age were authoritative in much the same sense 
that judicial opinions are authoritative under the common-law 
system. For several centuries prior to the accession of Justinian 
the jurisprudence of Rome had sadly degenerated. As noted by 
Gibbon, her great jurisconsults had been supplanted "by an 
ignoble multitude of Syrians, Greeks, and Africans, who flocked 
to the imperial court to study Latin as a foreign tongue and juris- 
prudence as a lucrative profession." In so far as private law is 
concerned, the work performed under Justinian was, as above 
stated, the confection of an abridgment or digest of the treatises 
of the earlier Roman jurisconsults, which when completed was 
declared to be authoritative law. It resembled a code in much the 
same sense as would an abridgment or digest of certain selected 
decisions of common-law courts which might be declared by sta- 
tute in a common-law state to be the only decisions entitled to 
force and effect as authoritative law. It did not change the sys- 
tem of Roman jurisprudence as essentially a system of unwritten 

The truth would seem to be, as claimed by Mr. Carter in his 
work, "Law, Its Origin, Growth and Function," that the earliest 
code of substantive law, in the modem sense of the word "code," 
was that adopted in Prussia in 1751. 

As, of course, is well known, the Corpus Juris Civilis was 
completely submerged and lost to view -during the Dark Ages. 
From the time when it was afterwards discovered, the Pandects 
or Digest, being that portion of the work which covered the field 
of private law, has exerted an influence upon the law and juris- 
prudence of all civilized countries, not excepting England, which 
has justified the fine phrase: "Rome rules us still, not by reason 
of her power, but by the power of reason." 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 81 

The Louisiana Bar, 1813-1913. 

By Judge T. C. W. Ellis, Senior Judge of the 
Civil District Court. 

May it please your Honors, Ladies and Gentlemen : We are 
here in this home of the Supreme Court of Louisiana at the in- 
vitation of its judges, in honor of the one hundredth anniver- 
sary of its organization. 

The presence of the learned justices, and their invited guests, 
the judges of the various state courts, the Governor of the state, 
members of the General Assembly, and the heads of the several 
administrative departments, signalizes the gathering of all, who 
represent in behalf of the people the sovereign powers of our 

We have, also, presiding with our Justices, the judges of the 
federal courts, for this judicial circuit and district, who have, for 
the day, laid aside their labors to join in this celebration. 

Distinguished members of the reverend clergy are also with 
us, to lend the recognition of our holy religion, and to pronounce 
its prayers and benedictions. 

The lawyers of our state, with the president of the Louisiana 
Bar Association as master of ceremonies, are here in large num- 
bers, as also are the mayor of our city, and other representatives 
of its municipal government, together with very many of our 
fellow citizens. 

And last, but best of all, have come many representatives of 
the splendid womanhood of our state, to add the witchery of their 
charming presence, in sympathetic accord with the purposes of 
this impressive occasion. 

They are thrice welcome here, as they join us all in our salu- 
tations to this august tribunal, and in our invocation, that God 
may ever "bless the state of Louisiana, and this honorable court." 

The first thought pressing for utterance is that of reverent 
gratitude to the Great Author of our being — ^the King of Kings, 
the Judge of Judges — that our lives have been prolonged to see 
this auspicious day, and that, through all the vicissitudes of 100 
years of her checkered, and sometimes stormriven, career, He 
has vouchsafed to our state existence as a sovereign among the 
sovereigns composing the Federal Union, and to her people the 
blessings of enlightened government and of civil and religious 

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The second is one of gratification that this tribunal has 
given the wholesome example that respect should be cherished for 
the memory of those who have wrought well in their day, in the 
formation and preservation of this fabric of beneficent govern- 
ment, with just pride for achievements, that go to make up the 
glory of the state. 

It has been said, that a people without patriotic sentiment is 
ripe for the despot's rod. 

With glad hearts we all join in the celebration of this im- 
pressive anniversary. 

Distinguished lawyers have given us, in eloquent terms, the 
story of this historic court, and of the jurisprudence it has been 
upbuilding in the last 100 years. 

The request that brings me here suggested that, as an older 
member of the state judiciary, I should, in behalf of that depart- 
ment, voice its appreciation of the lawyers composing the Louisi- 
ana bar of the past century. The kind terms in which this re- 
quest was communicated will be a pleasing memory with me 
while life shall last. 

My theme, therefore, is the Louisiana Bar. 

As introductory to any notice of the bar, as a body of lawyers, 
it will be useful to consider the qualifications necessary to entitle 
the individual to admission to its membership. The first requisite 
is that he be a citizen of the state, of sufficient residence to make 
him known to the community where he lives, and that he must be 
a person of good moral character. Beyond this, he must establish 
that he has spent the prescribed time in the study of the law in 
its various branches, as laid down by statute, or by the rules of 
the Supreme Court, and he must prove, by the test of an examina- 
tion before a committee of lawyers selected for the purpose, and 
a final examination before the court which has power to grant 
or deny the license, that he has the mental aptitude and has ac- 
quired the legal learning necessary to equip him for his duties 
as a lawyer. 

And, last of all, he must take a solemn oath, not only to sup- 
port the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the 
state, but, also, that in his practice he will demean himself honest- 
ly and with fidelity to every duty and trust with which he may 
be charged. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court . 83 

All this accomplished, he becomes a member of the bar, and 
as such an officer of the court, with all the privileges this relation 
implies, but subject to disbarment for misconduct or willful 
breach of the duties that devolve upon him as a lawyer. 

To his client, he owes, and is held, to the highest standard 
of fidelity. It is his duty to give to the advocacy or defense of his 
client's cause his best endeavors within the limitations of personal 
and professional propriety. He is barred from disclossing the 
admissions or confessions of his client, given to him under the veil 
of his employment, and under no circumstances can he acquire 
interest antagonistic to those of his client in the subject-matter 
wherein he is engaged. 

In all his relations as a practitioner his position is one of 
high privilege and exalted trust. 

. Considering the bar as a body of lawyers thus tested and 
licensed, it may be the more readily understood why its influence, 
from the organization of our state to the present time, has been so 

It cannot be denied that it has impressed itself on every page 
of the history of our state. In every lawmaking body, it has been 
a factor, often originating and invariably assisting in shaping the 
statutory declarations of what shall be the law. On every judicial 
bench it furnishes from its ranks an arbiter, hearing, considering, 
and deciding, and thus aiding in the upbuilding of the jurispru- 
dence so necessary to the construction and successful operation 
of the statute law. 

All this takes no notice of the fact that in his practice the 
lawyer has been the counselor and teacher of the people in their 
individual interests and concerns, as well as the adviser of all the 
departments of the government, state and general as well as local. 
It must be so from the very nature of the structure of our political 
system and our social fabric, as institutions regulated by law ; for 
how can law regulate, unless its application and operation be 
directed by those who understand it as a science. 

All is not claimed in this respect for the bar as a body of 
lawyers. There have been very many, from the other walks of 
life, who have exerted powerful influence in the conduct of our 
affairs as a people, but, as this political structure, the result of 
100 years of progressive activity and evolution, towers in our 
presence today, we cannot forget that its strength and fair pro- 

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84 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

portions could not have been attained without the active and con- 
trolling participation of the membership of the Louisiana bar, as 
legislators, as administrative officers, as lawyers and judges, as 
well as citizens. 

In illustration of what we claim for the bar, in the founda- 
tion and up-building of our state, let us particularize. The task 
that confronted the lawyers of this state at the opening of the cen- 
tury, which closes this day, was one unusual difficulty. The ter- 
ritory comprising the state had been the colonial possession, first 
of France, then of Spain. Proconsular government had in turn 
directed the affairs of the French and Spanish subjects, who, in- 
duced by royal grants, or special privileges, or by the hope of 
wealth, or the love of adventure, had settled here and formed its 
population. By charter direction the laws and ordinances of 
France and the customs of Paris had been ordained and applied 
during the French occupation. When Spanish rule supervened, 
the laws of Castile prescribed regulations for matters of ordinary 
civil nature, and prescribed the form of practice for judicial pro- 
cedure. Later on the strong hand of O'Reilly seemed to have 
swept all else from the system, and to have ingrafted the laws of 
Spain as the law of the land. Whether this was the effect of the 
official action of this self-willed Spanish Governor or not, such 
was believed to have been the result. In the matter of criminal 
procedure — ^the arrest, accusation, trial and punishment for al- 
leged crime— there was slight protection for the accused if con- 
stituted power was intent upon conviction and punishment. 

Nothing could be more different than were the regulations 
prescribed by kingly power, or its proconsular representatives, for 
the government of the people of Louisiana, as a French, or Span- 
ish province, from the American plan, whose life and spirit were 
the guaranties of Magna Charta and the common law, and the 
democratic theory of government by the people and for the peo- 

After the purchase of the territory by the United States, 
during the administration of Mr. Jefferson, the Congress had 
framed for it a territorial government. The legislation thus or- 
ganizing the territory of Orleans had vouchsafed to this people 
the guaranties of the English and American Bill of Rights, the 
trial by jury, the immunity from inquisitorial methods of ac- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 85 

cusation and prosecution, exemption from cruel and unusual 
punishments, etc. 

In the domain of federal jurisdiction and control these guar- 
anties of the Great Charter, embodied in the Constitution, had al- 
ready become the heritage of the people, and the territorial fed- 
eral courts were the present and effective agencies for their 
application and enforcement. 

In aid of the plan of transforming this king-governed terri- 
tory into a state of the American Union its Legislature, elect- 
ed by its people, had caused to be framed the Civil Code of 1808, 
modeled, for the great part, on the Napoleon Code, and purport- 
ing to be a compilation of laws in force in the territory, with al- 
terations to suit the conditions arising from the change of gov- 
ernment, but it left in force all laws, except so far as they might 
conflict with its provisions. With the settlement of questions 
arising under this state of affairs the ultimate determination was 
left to the Superior Court of the territory presided over by George 
Mathews, of Georgia, Joshua Lewis, of Kentucky, and Francois- 
Xavier Martin, of North Carolina, appointed, respectively, by 
Presidents Jefferson and Madison, and their work is to be found 
in the first and second volumes of Martin's Reports. 

Later on came the enabling act of Congress, authorizing the 
people of the territory of Orleans to frame a state Constitution, 
preparatory to their admission as a state. In the convention, 
elected by the people for this purpose, the Constitution of 1812 
was framed, and, after submission, was approved by Congress, 
which enacted the legislation admitting the territory into the 
Federal Union, as the state of Louisiana. 

In the framing of this Constitution the lawyers of that 
period exercised a controlling influence. Their task seems to 
have had less of difficulty than that falling to their successors in 
1845, 1852, 1879, and 1898, perhaps because there was then less^ 
distrust of the agencies of the government, particularly the* 
legislative branch, and doubtless because there were then no dis- 
tracting issues of state policy, such as have grown up, necessarily, 
with the marvelous developments of later times. 

Fresh in the minds of the f ramers of this, our first Consti- 
tution, were the discussions as to the outlines and checks of or- 
ganic law requisite for the formation of a more perfect union, in 
*he Convention of 1787, and in the battle royal waged at the hust- 

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ings, and in the several state conventions, over the issue of adop- 
tion of the federal Constitution. 

The result was that the state Constitution, projected on the 
plan of the federal instrument, with its seven articles and sched- 
ule, was readily adopted as the framework upon which the three 
co-ordinate departments of the new state government were to 
find their rock-bed basis. 

It is a tribute to the wisdom of this plan of our fathers that 
the state government was easily organized, its completion being 
signalized by the organization of the Supreme Court, one century 
ago today, and that it operated for 33 years, or nearly one-half as 
long as the combined lives of the six successive Constitutions that 
have since been adopted. 

For 12 years, the Supreme and inferior courts of the state, 
and the lawyers of that period, were called to deal with issues 
arising from the variant systems of laws which have been re- 
ferred to. 

• In 1825 a Revision of the Code of 1808, under legislative 
authority, was prepared and presented by those eminent lawyers, 
Moreau-Lislet, Pierre Derbigny, and Edward Livingston. It was 
adopted by the Legislature, and became the law. 

Soon after, the General Assembly, expressing the weariness 
of the people from the operation of laws existing in the colonial 
days, which brought conflict and uncertainty, undertook to cut the 
Gordian knot of difficulty, resulting from prior conflicting laws, 
not abrogated by the Code of 1825, by the repeal of all laws in 
force anterior to its provisions. 

Then came to Louisiana lawyers cases of rights acquired, or 
liability incurred, under laws existing prior to 1825, and on their 
hearing the Supreme Court held that it was not the legislative 
intent to abrogate those principles, which were founded on the 
Roman law and the civil law of France and Spain, under which 
'legal rights, recognized by the jurisprudence, had been acquired. 

It was the jurisprudence thus formed and announced that 
breathed into the provisions of our Civil Code, itself framed on 
the model of the Napoleon Code, the life and spirit of the civil 
law, and opened up, as sources for its explanation and elucidation, 
the jurisprudence of France and the commentaries of her juris- 
consults, as well as the wealth of the Roman law and its exposition 
wherever it had prevailed. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 87 

It is to controversies, growing out of conflicting laws and 
regulations imposed upon the people and property of Louisiana 
when, in its chrysalis form, its territory was the pawn and sport 
of kings, passing from one domination to another, until it found 
its safe moorings, as a state of the American Union, beneath the 
aegis of the Constitution, that we turn, for the most splendid 
triumphs of the Louisiana lawyer, and to the golden age of judi- 
cial achievement. It was in controversies thus arising that the 
intellect and industry of the Louisiana advocate met the f oeman 
worthy of his steel, in his opposing professional brother, and that 
from their forensic discussions, just as the electric spark leaps 
from the contact of opposing currents, the truth came, fixing the 
principle and its application in the judicial pronouncements that 
gave to the bar and to the Supreme Court of Louisiana the high- 
est respect and position throughout the world. 

There were very many questions of law arising in that period 
from the peculiar conditions then existing. Questions arising 
from land grants, questions as to batture and riparian rights 
growing out of title, or possession, of lands, bordering our great 
river, enlisted the skill and learning of our greatest lawyers, and 
resulted in the announcement of fixed rules, by the Supreme 
Court, to govern all such cases. 

But it was in controversies where the laws of different coun- 
tries were to be considered and applied that the genius and learn- 
ing of the Louisiana bar and the wisdom of our Supreme Court 
signalized and recorded their greatest and most far-reaching 

Cases of this nature, in variant forms, brought under con- 
sideration the operation of the lex domicilii, the lex loci con- 
tractus, the lex rei sitae, the lex fori, and from them rules regulat- 
ing what was then called the conflict of laws, but now known as 
the science of private international law, were simplified, and 
became well-recognized rules of personal privilege and property 

Cases decided along those lines in the Supreme Court of 
Louisiana were cited and accepted as authoritative by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States, and these settled rules were 
embodied in Mr. Justice Story's treatise on the Conflict of Laws, 
the pioneer work on this subject in the United States, and have 
held their position, as controlling precedents, in succeeding juris- 

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88 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

prudence, and in all of the works upon this once perplexing sub- 

Martin, Porter, and Mathews, and their successors upon this 
bench, great as they were, would have been embarrassed by these 
questions, without the treasures of reason and authority and re- 
search which were brought to their assistance by the bar of that 
time. The lawyers of that day were as the voice of "one crying in 
the wilderness," preparing the way and making straight the path 
through which was to lead the evangel of a consistent and settled 
jurisprudence in its progress, as the measure of justice and right 
for all the people. 

It is not that those lawyers, or those judges, were greater 
intellectually, or in their learning and acquirements, than their 
illustrious successors at the bar, or on the bench. It was theirs 
to live and serve when those great questions arose; it was their 
opportunity and their privilege to live and to act at that formative 
period of our history. 

It is the record of all human annals that every crucial occa- 
sion has evolved men of endowment and courage to meet its issues 
and necessities, and in God's providence it fell to the lot of the 
first judges of this tribunal, and to the eminent lawyers who then 
occupied the stage of human activity here, to confront and to 
settle the important questions which then arose. 

It was thus, when our federal system was crumbling under 
the disintegrating influences that had proved the inefficiency of 
the government, under the Articles of Confederation — when Els- 
worth had resigned, and John Jay, his successor, refusing to 
continue as Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, had ex- 
pressed his belief that the system was a failure, and that the "one 
Supreme Court" was a tribunal, without power for usefulness — 
that John Marshall became Chief Justice, and soon, under the ope- 
ration of his masterful mind, the government of the United States 
began to fulfill and carry into execution the designs of its found- 
ers. It was to him that opportunity fell to provide, by liberal and 
beneficial construction and interpretation, for the enforcement of 
the delegated powers of the general government, and to make 
them efficient agencies for the general welfare. As has been said 
by another, it was his to take the Constitution, which he found 
"paper," and to transform it into "power." It was his to take its 
skeleton framework, and by his plastic hand to clothe it with flesh 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 89 

and muscle, to infuse into it the rich blood of health, and to 
breathe into its nostrils the breath of life. - 

And so it was, when the admiralty jurisdiction, hedged in by 
the narrow restrictions that confined it to the high seas and to 
the ebb and flow of the ocean tides, had become inefficient, that 
Chief Justice . Taney brushed away those restrictions, and by 
philosophic reasoning and luminous interpretation that carried 
conviction extended that jurisdiction, so necessary to the peo- 
ple, as well as to the government, to the great lakes and inland 
streams, making "navigable waters" the test, instead of the "in- 
land flow of the tides." 

And so, it was the opportunity of the great lawyers who com- 
posed the bench and bar of Louisiana to meet the conditions that 
arose, in the early days of our state, from conflicting laws and 
systems, that had controlled when she was a Spanish or French 
province, or a territory of the United States, and to mold and 
shape the legislation and jurisprudence which should, with safety 
to the privileges and rights of all its people, transform them, as a 
community, into a state of the American Union. 

Royal edicts, charter grants, kingly prerogative, laws of 
Spain and laws of France, were all to be considered, as to their 
operation upon the rights and privileges of the people, and were 
to be reconciled, so as to bring them into harmonious relations 
with the liberal institutions and beneficent form of government 
ordained in the Constitution for the regulation of the states com- 
posing the Federal Union. 

That they met these problems and solved them in the interest 
of the state and of all her people is the finding of impartial his- 
tory, and is the proudest record of the Louisiana bench and bar. 

From this day, looking back to the lawyers and judges of 
that pioneer period in our history, the eminence they occupy in 
.the world's annals of judicature and politics seems crowned with 
the glory of a sunlight that brightens as the years pass away. 

Tradition has handed down much of interest regarding these 
great men as individuals, but my theme does not lead me there, 
but rather confines me to the Louisiana bar as exemplified by its 
record of public service. 

Soon after the admission of the state, the Louisiana lawyer 
came into prominence as a political factor. In the state, as 
throughout the Union, alignments had been formed between the 

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90 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

federalist, or whig idea, on the one hand, and the democratic 
theory, on the other. The former favored the latitudinous con- 
struction of the Constitution, in the enlargement of the powers 
delegated to the general government. The latter stood for the 
strictest interpretation, and denied all power beyond the express 
terms of the mandate. 

The currency, the national bank, the tariff, the public domain, 
and many questions came on for discussion ; fortunately economic 
issues that admitted of peaceful solution. But then came burn- 
ing questions growing out of the institution of domestic slavery, 
intensified by the admission of Missouri and Texas as states, and 
later by the issues that arose from the Missouri Compromise, by 
the acts for the admission of Kansas and Nebraska — ^the one 
party demanding that slavery should be excluded from the ter- 
ritories, and the other claiming the right of slaveowner to settle 
in the territories, the common property of all the states, with his 
slave property, subject to expulsion, if the territory, when erected 
into a state, should declare against domestic slavery. The deci- 
sion of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case, deciding the 
Missouri Compromise repugnant to the Constitution, and that the 
colored man was not a citizen of the United States in the jurisdic- 
tional sense, intensified the issue, and added to the flames that 
burned, until extinguished by the Civil War. 

Events crowded, and the dread issue of secession came on; 
the Civil War, the defeat of the South, the military occupation, 
the chaos that came during the days of alien and negro domina- 
tion, the steady resistance of a people who, though conquered in 
war, refused to yield to the rule of an inferior race. 

It is not a grateful nor pleasant task to revive those sad 
memories of the long-ago, and I turn from them. I only recall 
them to say that, throughout them all, two generations of Louisi- 
ana lawyers took active part on the one side and on the other in 
all the discussions, as well as in all the events, that make up that 
dark period in our history. 

In all of these troubles the Louisiana lawyer was not a lag- 
gard. In the closing scenes, especially in all the measures of 
resistance to the misrule and oppression that followed the Civil 
War, whether at law or otherwise, almost unanimously, whether 
they had sided with the Confederacy, or with the Union, they 
were on the side of the rights of the state and the people, and 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 91 

during the last 10 years of resistance, with many of them as lead- 
ers, the struggle went on, until, in April, 1877, when, under the 
leadership of him who was twice the deliverer of this state, him 
who, with maimed limbs and wasted body, was twice the Governor 
of the state, and long the Chief Justice of this tribunal, ended our 
enthrallment as a people, and came the restoration of our state to 
her rightful position in the sisterhood of the states of the Union. 

Thus far this paper has dealt with the Louisiana lawyer in 
his capacity as a lawyer, and in his connection with the political 
activities that have agitated the state. I present him now in the 
literary contributions that he has made to its laws, and to its ju- 
risprudence, and generally to the literature of the period. 

Francois-Xavier Martin was among the early contributors 
to the literature, both legal and secular of the state. In North 
Carolina, where he resided prior to his appointment by President 
Madison as one of the judges of the Superior Court of the terri- 
tory, he had been a printer, while practicing law. There he had 
published a revision of the laws of that state, a work on Execut- 
ors, another on Sheriffs, Their Powers and Duties, and a transla- 
tion of Pothier's work on Obligations, from the French into Eng- 

It may be of interest, to note that Martin was a member of 
the order of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and that in 
November, 1789, at the funeral of Richard Caswell, Grand Master 
of that order in North Carolina, who had been a general in the 
War of the Revolution, a senator in Congress, and a Governor of 
the state, he delivered the funeral oration, on behalf of the Grand 
Lodge of that state. This address appears in a work published in 
1867, entitled Washington and his Masonic Compeers. His selec- 
tion for this duty shows the position that he had attained in his 
adopted home. It is an address suited to the occasion. In it may 
be detected inaccuracies of expression, showing that he had not 
yet mastered the English language. His quotations from Antony's 
oration over the dead body of Csesar attest his familiarity with 
the works of the great English poet. 

With the admission of the state into the Union, the Superior 
Court of the territory ceased to exist, and Martin became a mem- 
ber of the Louisiana bar, being admitted to practice soon after 
the organization of the Supreme Court, and practiced as a lawyer, 
acting as Attorney General of the new state until his appointment 

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to the supreme bench in 1815. He edited and published the re- 
ports of the territorial Supreme Court in two volumes, and there- 
after the 18 volumes of the Supreme Court Reports. Meanwhile, 
he had written the history of Louisiana, which he published in 

1827. This work was republished, in the early 80's by the late 
James A. Gresham, with a memoir of Judge Martin, by Wm. Wirt- 
Howe, once a justice of this court — ^a monograph rich in its treas- 
ures of historical research, and a most valuable contribution to the 
literature of the law of our state. As a historian. Judge Martin's 
purpose seemed to be to record events as they trafispired, with 
little in the way of deduction or comment. Dr. Monette, in his 
History of the Valley of the Mississippi, while quoting liberally 
from Martin, states that there was some confusion of dates, and 
in this respect inaccuracies in parts of Martin's History. 

In 1817, Marseilles, the place of his birth, hearing of the 
achievements and honors of her illustrious son, elected him a mem- 
ber of her Academy, and, in 1841, Harvard, the leading college of 
his adopted country, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of 

Though not in order of time, it may be appropriate here to 
state that another member of the Louisiana bar condensed the 20 
volumes of reports published by Martin into 10 volumes, abridg- 
ing the less important, and reproducing in full the more important 
opinions of the court, so that nothing was lost, adding an analy- 
tical digest of the 20 volumes of excellent arrangement and ac- 
curacy. The author was Thomas Gibbes Morgan, of Baton Rouge, 
La., a gentleman of rare accomplishments, and of the highest rank 
as a citizen and lawyer. 

The first general work of this nature was a digest, in two 
volumes by Moreau-Lislet, of all general legislation from 1804 to 

1828, to which he appended the Treaty with France, of April 30, 
1803, by which Louisiana was acquired ; also the Constitution of 
the United States, and the Enabling Act of Congress of February, 
1811, under which the territory was authorized to adopt a state 
Constitution, preparatory to its admission as a state; the Consti- 
tution adopted on January 22, 1812; the act of Congress of April 
8, 1812; and the supplementary act of April 14, 1812, by which 
the state was admitted into the Union — so that the heterogeneous 
and cosmopolitan people of the state, whether American, French, 
or Spanish, should have perfect knowledge of all the pertinent 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 93 

facts by which Louisiana had become one of the states of the 
United States, the organic laws, federal and state, which were to 
govern, and the definite territorial limits within which these laws, 
and all the sovereign functions of the new state, were to operate 
as the successor of the proconsular governments, alternately, of 
France and Spain, and the territorial government by the United 
States, subsequent to the date of the purchase in 1803, 

Thirteen years later, the revision of the statutes, from the 
change of government to 1841, inclusive, was made and published 
by the collaboration of Henry A. BuUard, a Justice of the Supreme 
Court, and Thomas Curry, Judge of the Ninth Judicial District, 
who found time, amid their judicial labors, to do this work. 

Eleven years later came the revision of the statutes by those 
eminent lawyers Levi Pearce, William W. King, and Miles Tay- 
lor, in 1852, and in 1856 this was followed by the compilation, 
edited and published by U. B. Philips, of West Feliciana, a lawyer 
of much ability and learning. 

The next revision came in 1870, of the Code of Practice, Civil 
Code, and Statutes, made necessary by the changes which had 
been superinduced by the Civil War, edited by that eminent 
lawyer, John Ray, and formally adopted by the General Assembly. 

Although 43 years have passed, we are without subsequent 
authoritative digest or revision of our Codes or Statutes. Not that 
the lawyers of our state have been unmindful or neglectful, for we 
have had, since, repeated editions of Codes and Statutes, and di- 
gests by many of them ; the first, by Albert Voorhies, twice Dis- 
trict Judge, once Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and 
Lieutenant Governor of the state ; then, the Revised Laws of Lou- 
isiana, by Solomon Wolff, following the Revision of 1870, with 
amendments up to 1910, and references to all the construing 
jurisprudence, a work of transcendent merit, and of indispensable 
utility to the bench and bar, as well as to the layman. Another 
work, worthy of notice, is the Index to the Statutes of Louisiana, 
from the beginning, up to the date of its first publication, by 
Robert Hardin Marr, Jr.. a work of the greatest utility to the pro- 
fession, followed by a second edition, which brings the index up 
to 1912. This author has also given us a work on the Criminal 
Jurisprudence of Louisiana, which lightens the labor of judge and 
lawyer, and is received as authority everywhere — the same au- 
thor, whose name, as a member of the Commission to frame a 

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94 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Code of Criminal Procedure, . gives earnest that the issuance of 
that work, now in embryo, will not be long delayed. 

Another illustration of the labors of the Louisiana lawyer 
along these lines is found in the project for the revision of our 
Civil Code by those accomplished lav^ryers, R. E. Milling, W. 0. 
Hart and Judge W. N. Potts, which changes the original text to 
conform to the jurisprudence, and to present conditions, as to 
many provisions of that Code. 

An edition of the Code of Practice of 1828, published by M. 
Greiner in 1844, with luminous references to the jurisprudence 
and statutory amendments up to that date, was the vade mecum 
of all the lawyers of 50 years ago. 

The edition of the same Code, annotated, published by Henry 
L. Garland, and the revised edition of this work by Solomon Wolff, 
which brings the statutory amendments and references up to 
1910, are works of the highest value. 

Other editions of the Civil Code, annotated by Upton and N. 
R. Jennings in 1838, by the late James 0. Fuqua and Thomas 
Gibbes Morgan, in English and French, later on by Judge Eugene 
D. Saunders, in the 80's and more recently by E. T. Merrick, Jr., . 
with notes of his father, the late Chief Justice Merrick, whose 
name the author bears — ^the last edition bringing the references 
up to 1912 — all of great value, have been published, attesting the 
labors of Louisiana lawyers in the interest of the state and people. 
Another edition of the Code annotated was by the late K. A. 
Cross, edited by Theo. Roehl, Esq. 

These digests and revisions, with annotations to date, were 
all based upon the original Civil Code, which was the labor of 
Louisiana lawyers in preparing a Code for the new American 
state, for the most part taken from the Napoleon Code, and bear- 
ing the same relation to it that the French jurists selected by Na- 
poleon bore to the Napoleon Code, and that Tribonian and his 
colleagues bore to the Justinian Code. 

The Supreme judicial interpretation of the laws gave the 
jurisprudence, and became part of the law. - Reports, annually 
issuing, accumulated, and necessitated accurate digests, analytic- 
ally arranged, and to this need the Louisiana lawyer gave response 
in the digests of the decisions of the Supreme Court: First by 
Deslix; then by Benjamin and Slidell; then by W. D. Hennen in 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 95 

his two editions ; by Charles Louque ; by S. R. & C. L. Walker ; by 
Mr. Taylor ; and by the present Chief Justice, Jos. A. Breaux. 

The Reports of the Decisions of the Court of Appeal by Judge 
Frank McGloin, and those of the reorganized court, as now exist- 
ing, are worthy of notice as valuable contributions to the literature 
of the law of our state. 

Works of the character noticed — ^that is, the revisions and 
annotations of the written law, or the proper analysis and digest- 
ing of judicial opinions — involve, necessarily, incessant labor, in- 
dustry, research, and discrimination, as well as learning, and they 
all stand as enduring monuments to the public service rendered 
by the lawyers of the period under review. 

In 1847 Henry M. Spofford, afterwards a Justice of the Su- 
preme Court, in collaboration with District Judge E. R. Olcott, 
prepared and published The Louisiana Magistrate. It was in- 
tended for the use of justices of the peace, clerks of court, no- 
taries, and 'sheriffs, giving their powers and duties, and whence 
derived, as well as models and forms for their official acts. It was 
a work of signal merit, so plain in its terms that the veriest Dog- 
berry, called to the judgment seat in the important work of arrest 
and commitment for crime, or the trial and judgment and ap- 
peal in matters of civil interest involving less in value than $100, 
could have no- excuse for error in his procedure, no matter how 
wide of the mark the arrows of his judgment might fly. A re- 
vised edition of this work was published in 1870 by J. A. Seghers 
and Patrice Leonard, members of our bar. 

The survivors of the bar of that day, especially those who 
practiced in the country parishes, will yield the palm to the ac- 
complished and polished Spofford for this incomparable work, 
which the brilliancy of his subsequent career as a Justice of the 
Supreme Court and in the domain of politics did not obscure or 
cause them to forget. The Civil Law of Spain and Mexico, by 
Gustavus Schmidt, in 1850, commends itself to all civil law 
lawyers, who have interest in tracing, to their source, many pro- 
visions of our Code. It is a work worthy of remembrance. 

The work on Citizenship published by another Louisiana 
lawyer, Alexander Porter Morse, my classmate in the Louisiana 
University, is one evincing learning and ability of the highest or- 
der, painstaking research, and fine discrimination. He was the 

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96 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

counsel of the Republic of France in the 80's, before the Franco- 
American Claims Commission. 

We may, at least, claim a share in the distinction achieved by 
Judah P. Benjamin, whose high character as a lawyer was fixed 
here, and who went hence to his brilliant career as a United States 
Senator, then as cabinet officer to the Confederate President, and, 
after the defeat, as a British lawyer, and to his final preferment 
as Queen's Counselor. His work on Sales is authority every- 

The industry and ability of the late Kimball A. Cross, also 
my college mate, remain to us in his treatise on the Louisiana Law 
of Pleadings and of Successions. 

Another contribution was a work on Taxation, a vexed and 
vexing question, which for 30 years past, like Banquo's ghost, has 
refused to down at our bidding, and even at this day returns to 
plague the lawyers and their hapless clients, as well as the judges. 
Of this work, Eugene D. Saunders, lately Dean of the Law De- 
partment of the Tulane University of Louisiana, and sometime 
United States District Judge, was the author. 

Other works which may be named are, one by M. M. Cohen, 
on the Admiralty, another, by Judge J. E. Leonard, upon Federal 
Practice and Proceduce, and an Analytical Digest of Tort Cases 
in Louisiana, published last year, supplementing the "analytical 
index of personal injury cases" issued in 1900 by H. H. White, of 
the Alexandria bar — all works of merit and worthy of notice. 

Another instance of the labors of a Louisiana lawyer is 
worthy of mention before this tribunal, where he sat as an Asso- 
ciate Justice. I allude to the late Robert Hardin Marr. He found 
time, amid the cares of an active and extensive practice, to trans- 
late from the French into the English, with his own comments, 
notes, and references appropriate to our state, the commentaries 
of Marcade. 

Marr was a Tennessean, and had achieved rank and position 
there, in the 40's, when he was attracted by the wider field of 
activity in this city, and located here. By his application he ac- 
quired the perfect knowledge of the French language, translating, 
writing, and speaking it with accuracy. Realizing the importance 
of the knowledge of this language, the mother tongue of a great 
part of our people, he knew that in it were treasured the judicial 
pronouncements and the commentaries of the jurists whose 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 97 

works have made France immortal. He had no need of transla- 
tions, but it wais his desire to contribute to his brothers of the bar 
who might not have equal advantages the works of those jurists, 
just as translations into the English of the works of Domat and 
Pothier from the French, and of the Justinian Code and the Insti- 
tutes from the Latin, had placed those treasures of the civil law 
within the reach of all English-speaking students and lawyers. 
He had completed his work, and it was ready for publication, 
when the Civil War came on, and he left, obedient to the call of 
duty. During the occupation by the federal troops and his en- 
forced absence, this literary treasure was lost. I have heard from 
his own lips the story of the laborious care spent in its prepara- 
tion, and his sorrow that the profession should, by its destruction, 
be deprived of the benefits which it was his sole purpose to confer. 

For himself, this tribune of the people, in their after days of 
sore affliction, frail and delicate physically, but intellectually and 
morally strong, this lost work was not needed to commemorate 
him as a lawyer, or as a man. 

In this review of the Louisiana lawyer, as he is to be judged 
by the literary evidences of his labor, I beg to present one other — 
Bernard J. Sage, in his work. The Republic of Republics, issued 
from London, England, in 1865, its third edition appearing in 
1878, a volume of 450 pages, with an appendix of "much apposite 
matter, now out of print, but instructive and valuable." Mr. 
Sage was one of the counsel selected for the defense of Jefferson 
Davis, late President of the Confederate States, then held a poli- 
tical prisoner, on the charge of treason, with Charles O'Connor, of 
New York, as leading counsel. By understanding, Mr. Sage, went 
to London, and there, incognito, this argumentative review of the 
federal Constitution was prepared, purporting to be the "Mono- 
graph of P. C. Centz, Barrister," a fictitious name. This method 
of issuance was adopted because of the fierce sectional prejudice 
existing at that time, and the fear that an appeal to law or to 
reason, from any southern or democratic source, would not be 
considered. In this disguise it was sent to the President of the 
United States, to the Press, and to many leading citizens, and 
passed current, at the time, as the work of an English lawyer. 
Its first form was that of a protest against the trial of Jefferson 
Davis by a military commission. Its burden was to show that an 
act of a citizen of any one of the United States, done in obedience 

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to the call of his state, which had withdrawn from the Union, 
whether rightfully or wrongfully, could not constitute treason 
against the United States government, which represented only 
those states remaining in the Union, and therefore that Mr. Davis 
could not be successfully tried for treason under the Constitu- 
tion of the United States. It was read by the then President, An- 
drew Johnson, and pronounced by him "historically and logical- 
ly correct." It is asserted and believed that this unanswerable ar- 
gument of Mr. Sage appealed to the great lawyers and statesmen, 
then advisory to the federal government, and that, under their 
advice, the issue of treason, vel non, of Mr. Davis was allowed to 
drag, without determination, until the general amnesty proclama- 
tion of the President, in 1868, ended the matter. 

This contention, based upon a compilation of all that had 
been written, or stated, in the formation of the general govern- 
ment, as the general agency of the sovereign states, operating its 
authority directly upon the people, only within the limits of its 
delegated powers, was not new, but it came in a form, that at- 
tracted attention from the men in power, at a crucial period, 
when the issue could no longer be evaded. It may have contri- 
buted to save the Constitution from further breach, and to leave 
untouched the principle upon which rest the sovereign rights of 
every state of the Union. 

As long as respect for this system shall endure, the name of 
this Louisiana lawyer will be honored, as one of those who labor- 
ed successfully in his day for the supreme benefit, not only of 
his own state, but of every state of the Union. He died poor, at 82 
years of age, in September, 1902, and his remains rest in hallow- 
ed ground, in the Nicholls tomb at Thibodaux. 

His fitting monument is this work. 

It should be a text-book in every institution where constitu- 
tional law is taught. 

There is nothing in it to indicate that Mr. Sage was its au- 
thor, but I know from himself that this work was his own. I 
have, as a treasured souvenir of our friendship, a copy which he 
gave me in December, 1887, with my name and his inscribed by 
his own hand. 

One other instance, where the professional labors of the 
Louisiana lawyer resulted in the settlement of a constitutional 
question of interest to the state and to the people deserves men- 

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Centenary of The Swpreme Court 99 

tion here. It grew out of the prosecution and trial, before the 
United States Circuit Court, in this city, of a number of persons 
who had participated in the riot of April, 1873, at Colfax, in 
Grant parish, charged with crime committed on account of the 
race and color of the victims. After conviction by the jury, on 
certain of the counts, a motion in arrest was interposed, raising 
the question whether the prohibitions of the fourteenth amend- 
ment were operative directly upon the people as individuals, or 
only as an additional limitation to the power of the state. At the 
argument the Circuit Judge, the late W. B. Woods, and the As- 
sociate Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Bradley, dif- 
fered in opinion, and certified the question to the Supreme Court, 
which sustained the motion in arrest. I had the honor to par- 
ticipate in the conference at which this motion in arrest was 
drawn. This settlement ended prosecutions of that kind before 
the federal tribunals, and was a boon to the people of the Southern 
States, who were struggling to free their states and themselves 
from the rule of an inferior race. 

Robert H. Marr, Sr., Judge William R. Whitaker, and E. 
John Ellis, for 10 years member of Congress from this state, all 
of whom have passed away, were the counsel who raised and 
argued that question. 

No sketch of the work of our lawyers in the line of the litera- 
ture of the law would be complete without reference to the work 
of Mr. Henry Denis on the Contract of Pledge, published in 1898, 
wherein he treats of the pledge at common and at civil law. This 
work is a distinct addition to the sum of legal knowledge. For 
years Mr. Denis was Reporter of the decisions of this court, and 
also Professor of Civil Law in our University. 

Outside of the literature of the law, the lawyers of the period 
under review have made valuable contributions to the general 

Charles Gayarre, a lawyer and judge, Federal Senator, As- 
sistant Attorney Geheral, and for years Secretary of State, was 
the author of the History of Louisiana as a State, as a Territory, 
and of the Romance of that History, also of the Life of Philip Sec- 
ond of Spain, and other publications. 

A little work, but worthy of mention for its merit, is Grand- 
mother's Tales of the Acadians — that heroic and devoted people 
who, true to their religion and to the land of their origin, when 

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100 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

driven by met ciless oppression from their homes in Acadia, now 
Nova Scotia, found their way to Louisiana, where floated the 
banner of La Belle France, with its spotless lilies, and where her 
rich language was spoken, cast their humble lot in that dream- 
land along the silvery Teche, destined to give to the state of their 
adoption some of its most distinguished citizens, in peace and in 
war, came to us almost as a lullaby of our childhood, from the 
pen of Judge Felix Voorhies, my classmate, and still an honored 
member of the bar. Alas, that it should shatter some of the idols 
that the genius of Longfellow, in his matchless Evangeline, had 
created. Alas, that grandmother's tradition has written down 
Gabriel as false and faithless. Alas, that sweet spirited Evange- 
line, broken-hearted and bereft of reason, rests, after life's fitful 
dream, in the cemetery of beautiful Lafayette. "Correspondence 
with My Son at Princeton," published in 1858, by James H. Muse, 
after the tragic death of his son, on the ill-fated steamer "Col. 
Crossman," may here be mentioned. Mr. Muse was a distin- 
guished lawyer, and as a legislator was the author of the statute 
abolishing imprisonment for debt in this state. 

And how upon us steals the sad dreamy poesy of the brilliant 
Richard Henry Wilde. Mr. Wilde had been Attorney General of 
Georgia, and for eight years a member of Congress from that 
state. He became a member of the Louisiana bar in the 40's and 
was professor of Constitutional Law in our University. His 
monograph on Dante, the Italian poet, and on Torquato Tasso, 
survive him. But it is his poetry that has preserved his name 
and memory. Colonel William H. Sparks, in his Recollections of 
Fifty Years, a work of rare merit, published in 1870, that per- 
petuates so much of interest regarding the lawyers and public men 
of the early days of our history as a state, thus quotes S. S. Pren- 
tiss, the great orator, a member of the Louisiana bar : Repeating 
Wilde's verse: 

"My life is like the prints which feet 
Have left on Tampa's desert strand. 
Soon as the rising tide shall beat, 
All trace will vanish from the sand. 
Yet, as if grieving to efface 
All vestige of the human race, 
On that lone shore, loud moans the sea, 
But none, alas, shall mourn for me," 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 101 

Prentiss said: 

"Why did not Wilde give his life to literature, instead of the 
musty maxims of the law? Little as he has written, it is enough 
to preserve his fame as a true poet. He was distinguished as a 
lawyer, and as a Congressman, but his name and fame will only 
be perpetuated by his verse, so tender, so true to the feelings of 
the heart. It is the heart which forms and fashions the romance 
of life, and without this romance, life is scarcely worth the liv- 

Doubtless there are other literary works of the members of 
the bar that have escaped this notice. 

If to this record of extrajudicial and extraofficial legal ef- 
fort be added the opinions of the judges, reported from the first 
of Martin to the current volume, the innumerable briefs of the 
lawyers engaged, filed with every submitted case, and frequently 
perpetuated by the reporters, the vast proportions of the labors of 
the lawyers of this state, in the great work of forming and 
shaping her institutions, and policy, and jurisprudence, will ap- 

It must not be supposed that all that has been said of matters 
where lawyers have been controlling factors in molding the juris- 
prudence, or in shaping the policy of the state, or wherever they 
have impressed their influence upon conditions affecting the peo- 
ple, was the result of combination, or organization, upon their 
part. It was all the result of unorganized, individual effort, in 
the practice of the profession, or in the ordinary walks of life. 

It is only of recent years that bar associations have become 
factors for the greater benefit of the profession and of the peo- 
ple. The American Bar Association, and the associations in the 
States, strengthening and supporting its recommendations, have 
become potential factors for the general good. Of the former, 
more than 130 Louisiana lawyers are members, and many of them 
are also members of the State Bar Association. 

First of all, its influence has brought higher standards of 
qualification for admission to the bar. The requirement of liberal 
general education, with longer terms of study and instruction in 
the law, is one feature. The adoption of a code of ethics, incul- 
cating morality, gentility, fairness, and integrity in the pro- 
fessional life and practice of the lawyer, with the suggestion that 

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102 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

it be taught to the student as a distinctive branch, is another 
and all-important one. 

Another is found in the effort to bring about uniformity in 
the laws of the several states of the Union in matters of commer- 
cial regulations, such as negotiable instruments, bills of lading, 
and many other subjects, that concern the general interests of the 
people. Our own statutes, of recent enactment, on the two sub- 
jects last mentioned are results brought about by the bar for the 
general welfare. 

Success has also crowned their efforts in the recent law regu- 
lating the practice before the courts by which unnecessary and 
wasteful delays in bringing cases at law to their determination 
will be, to a great extent, avoided. 

The limits of this paper will not admit of further detail. The 
Louisiana Bar Association is on the threshold of its activities 
and usefulness. Its motives are disinterested ; its purposes look 
to the general welfare ; its desire is to place the laws of the state 
and the administration of justice on a footing to keep pace with 
the requirements of this age, in all matters where this can be 
done consistently with the unchanging rules of justice and right. 

One other observation. I would be recreant to my duty as 
a judge, if I should fail to declare, in this presence, the assistance 
that the Bar Association has always rendered to the courts. The 
amicus curiae, as we have known him, has generally been some 
member of the bar, representing interests identical with those of 
one or the other side of the controversy on trial, but not of coun- 
sel. For this interest, which he may be employed to serve, he ap- 
pears on the brief, ostensibly as amicus curiae. That the assistance 
to the court is generally valuable there can be little doubt, but 
with experienced judges the appearance may bring some such 
measure of distrust as in the olden days attached to the Greeks 
when they came bearing gifts, and the effort of this "friend of the 
court," perhaps is received and considered as that of counsel 
regularly employed. Doubtless in every such case the motives 
of counsel have been honorable and praiseworthy but generally 
the appearance has been that of the interested attorney. 

It is not so with the Bar Association, when called upon by the 
judges. In two instances of serious importance the Civil District 
Court has had occasion to take measures : First, in the matter of a 
statute requiring their action in the readjustment of certain of- 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 103 

ficial salaries payable out of the judicial expense fund; second, 
as to the proceedings to be had in the adjudication and security to 
be given by the adjudicatee in the matter of the Fiscal Agency 
for the keeping of the large funds that come into the registry of 
the court. Those were questions of serious public importance. 
Doubts as to the constitutionality of the first of these led the 
judges to request the assistance of the Bar Association, and forth- 
with there came three of its members each one of whom had been 
its president. They gave to us, freely and without stint, the re- 
sults of their painstaking research, and the force of their reason- 
ing, in argument, and led us, as we believe, to a safe and wise 
determination, from which no appeal was taken. 

In the second instance, the president of the association, here 
today, leading in these ceremonies, came at our request, and gave 
the result of his thorough research and examination, bringing 
a solution, to the satisfaction of all concerned, which will stand 
as a precedent in this most important duty of safeguarding the 
public interest, in the selection of the Fiscal Agent Bank, and 
the form of security to be given. 

It is a pleasure, as well as a duty, to acknowledge, in this 
presence, these disinterested and meritorious services. 

Representing the period closing this day, four generations of 
lawyers appear. They embrace those who participated in the or- 
ganization of Louisiana as a state,- and in the forensic contests 
that framed our early jurisprudence, and they include the rising 
generation of lawyers, just admitted to the bar, who gives so much 
promise of usefulness. 

Among them appear a number who have served as Governors 
of our state, many who have represented the people in the two 
houses of the federal Congress, two, at least, who have been cabi- 
net officers, two who were ambassadors to the Court of France, two 
others to the Republic of Mexico, one who was ambassador to the 
Russian Court, and another to the Court of Spain. Still another 
was the special minister and envoy of the government of the Con- 
federate States to the European powers during the Civil War. 
One of them, who served for years as a state district judge, and 
as a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1879, was ap- 
pointed judge of the federal Circuit Court, and afterwards was 
promoted to the Circuit Court of Appeals for this circuit, and is 
now the president of that tribunal, a position second only to that 

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104 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

of Justice of the federal Supreme Court. He is with us today, 
sitting as an invited guest of the Justices of this court. Another, 
who became a member of our bar, was for some years an As- 
sociate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Still 
another, a native of Louisiana, once a Justice of this court, after- 
wards a senator in the federal Congress, later became an Asso- 
ciate Justice, and is now the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
of the United States. 

Three of them have been presidents of the American Bar 
Association — ^the first, in his day, the acknowledged leader of the 
bar, a senator in the Confederate Congress, once Attorney Gen- 
eral of the state, genial and high-spirited, whose gentle and en- 
gaging manners, aside from his transcendent abilities, bound him, 
as with hooks of steel, to our affections. 

Another, who came with an invading army, and after the 
Civil War located here, soon won our admiration and esteem by 
his personal qualities and high accomplishments, and especially as 
a Justice of the Supreme Court in 1872, when he refused to take 
part in the conspiracy that placed our state under a usurpatory 
government — ^the fabrication of an infamous election returning 
board — and resigned his high office, who. like Pilate, seeing that 
his opposition could "prevail nothing," '*took water and washed 
his hands," refusing to be a party to the subjugation and wrongs 
of a brave and liberty-loving people. 

The third is with us — and long may he remain — the unques- 
tioned leader of our bar, in whose matchless abilities, civic virtues, 
and public spirit, as a citizen, we take pride, as we hail him our 
colleague and friend. 

Another public service rendered by the lawyers of this period 
is that since the foundation of the law department of our Univer- 
sity its professors, with few exceptions of late years, were mem- 
bers of the bench and bar of this state. 

In the Civil War almost all of our lawyers of the arms-bear- 
ing age took military service — many as private soldiers, a number 
who attained the rank of brigadier or major general, many more 
who became field officers or commanders of batteries. Many of 
them lost their lives; many received grievous wounds. Shining 
examples of the volunteer soldiery of those fateful days are be- 
fore us today in the persons of three of the Justices of this court. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 105 

and two of their invited guests of the federal courts, presiding 
with them. 

Some followed the flag of the Union, and many more, the 
banner of the South. 

Time has sped away, and 50 years separate us from those 
eventful days. Through their gathering mists and shadows, the 
young and dashing soldier has disappeared, and with him have 
gone the antagonisms and bitterness of that unhappy period, as 
well as the issues that called him to the tented field. 

Those of us who survive, as veterans of that civic strife, are 
no longer enemies. We are comrades and friends — citizens of one . 
common country. 

We have learned to respect each other's feelings and motives ; 
our children have intermarried, and our interests have become 
identified. Without excuse, or apology, for what has been in the 
past, without revival or discussion of issues that have been settled, 
we all are content that the stars, which gleamed in the blue cross 
banner of the South now shine resplendent in the spangled flag 
of the Union, the representatives of free, peaceful, and coequal 

That restoration has been complete was proven in the recent 
war with Spain, when the youth of the South rallied, en masse, to 
the standard of the Union, among them some who are now among 
the leading lawyers of this state. 

Cursory and incomplete, this review of the Louisiana bar, in 
its relation to the jurisprudence, to the literature, to the general 
affairs of the state, and to the political events of the last 100 
years, has ended. If time would admit of personal notice of many 
of its members, the recital of their high qualities as men, their 
abilities and accomplishments, would be full of interest. 

And now we ring down the curtain upon the first century of 
Louisiana lawyers. 

As they pass us in review, memory recalls so many noble 
spirits, the friends of our earlier days and manhood, the loving, 
the brave, the learned, the eloquent, the brilliant, the refined, the 
devoted, the true ! 

We strew sweet flowers of affection upon the bier of each one 
who has passed to the Eternal Beyond, and drop the sympathetic 
tear as we proudly and confidently give them to the judgment of 
history, which, with stern justice, shall pass upon the quick and 

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106 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

the dead. And on this day we register our faith that, in that 
Grand Assize, when the summing up shall give the "whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth." and when there shall be no error of 
judgment, the lawyers composing the Louisiana bar of the past 
100 years will stand with those who have served well in their day 
and generation — among those "good and faithful servants," to 
whom shall be given the glad plaudit, "Well done." 

The Centennial Year. 

By Joseph A. Breaux, Chief Justice. 

Thoughts regarding the early judicial history of the state 
suggest themselves on this occasion, after having heard the elo- 
quent addresses made in the presence of this distinguished au- 

In the early part of the century just passed, Louisiana was 
fortunate in having able jurists on the bench and at the bar. Juris- 
prudence at first was in an incongruous condition even after the 
state had passed under the dominion of the United States. She 
observed a set of civil-law rules strangely compounded of the 
English Case Law, French Code Law, and Spanish Usages. Each 
citizen, doubtless, favored the system of laws of the country in 
which he was born and reared. This was not conducive to a satis- 
factory condition. The people of the state succeeded in emanci- 
pating themselves from this strange compound of laws by adopt- 
ing a code system and also by adopting the best principles of the 
common law, that beautiful system which originated, it is said, in 
the forests of ancient Germany. 

The Roman classic system needs no commendation to the ex- 
tent that it has been adopted in this state. As to the common law, 
the other part of our present system, some one has said it is 
based on Saxon customs molded by Norman lawyers ; it does not 
suggest a museum of remote antiquity, none the less we always 
seek to find a worthy past for all that is good. The two systems 
of law, civil and common, were blended. The results of the la- 
bors of the bench and bar of that period are still felt. Although 
a century has passed, during all these years these united systems 
of laws, civil and common, have come down to us with the impress 
placed upon them in the early years of the century. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 107 

Sir Henry Maine, in one of his interesting published lectures, 
says of our Code (and I quote him literally) that of all the re- 
publications of the Roman law it is the one that appears to him 
the fullest, the clearest, the most philosophical and the best adapt- 
ed to the exigencies of modern society. The author also asserts 
in his lecture on Roman law that, as adopted in Louisiana, it has 
produced "sensible effects on the older American states." 

The late Mr. Carter, an eminent lawyer of the New York bar, 
having retired from active practice, devoted the evening of life to 
the study of the Philosophy and Origin of Law. In a book recently 
published, he comments favorably regarding Louisiana and her 

The jurists of the early days of Louisiana well understood the 
effects of the laws upon society. The morality and progress that 
the laws foster; the great power of justice in human affairs. 
Referring especially to those jurists of other days, we might say 
of them that in their trying difficulties they have succeeded as 
well as those of other climes and other countries in developing a 
reasonably satisfactory system of laws. 

A hundred years of judicial history! During that time many 
changes have taken place in the administration of the laws. None 
the less there still remains something of the remote past. The 
frequent saying that time does away with all things is not al- 
ways true ; all is not reduced to dust ; must of the great and useful 
remains. Among these are our system of laws and the records of 
our jurisprudence. Those of an early date still offer inviting 
fields to the student of law and to the older members of the pro- 
fession as well. 

There is a complete list of the reports of decisions of each 
year from the first handed down in territorial days to date. They 
contain valuable records of communites, of families, of titles, and 
of other vast and varied interests of a state and of her people. 
The records of all these years are complete except two years (1863 
and 1864, during which time there were no regular decisions ren- 
dered) . There was a provisional court organized with undefined 
jurisdiction. Judge Peabody (by whose name the court is some- 
times known) wrote a pamphlet about his court — a copy of which 
I happen to have in my possession. Among other things he says 
that during the Civil War, to serve a process outside of the city, 
it required a squadron of cavalry and a section of artillery. 

Digitized by 


108 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

The records of that court were deposited in Washington, D, 
C. The student of history may some day find in them something 
to read. 

After this allusion to the judiciary — ^which I am purposely 
anxious not to make lengthy — I pass without transition (as they 
are a part of the courts) to the practicing attorneys. They have 
an advantage over the members of the bench who are only of 
one bench; the functions of the judges extend no further, while 
the practicing attorneys are members of all the courts. The good 
lawyer is a good citizen. I hope no one will think that I am in- 
fluenced by Vanity Fair when I say that he is a good man. The 
well-informed, intelligent, and independent lawyer deserves (and 
nearly always everywhere receives) just an entitled recognition 
and consideration. 

There are prominent names in other fieldsof endeavor in this 
state; none more prominent than those of her lawyers. Not 
wishing to mention those of a recent date, it is a pleasure to name 
Edward Livingston, pronounced by Jeremy Bentham and others 
the first legal genius of modern times, Etienne Mazureau, John 
R. Grymes, J. P. Benjamin. There are many others well known 
to tradition and to history. 

We have with us on this occasion distinguished judges of the 
federal courts, to whom we extended a most hearty welcome. We 
have also extended the right hand of friendship to our Brothers 
of the different courts of the state present. Likewise we have had 
the great pleasure of welcoming Governor Hall and of listening to 
his interesting address. 

The name of Hall is suggestive. Judge Dominick Hall of the 
state Supreme Court in 1813 (a short time thereafter judge of 
the federal court), had been arrested on order of General Jack- 
son. Judge Martin in his history of Louisiana states that Judge 
Joshua Lewis of the state court left his camp with a writ of 
habeas corpus to compel General Jackson to release Judge Hall. 
Judge Martin adds : Judge Lewis was a member of the Orleans 
Rifles, one of the companies of General Jackson serving at Chal- 
inette, and was at the camp of his company when he issued the 
order. Thereupon General Jackson ordered the arrest of Judge 
Lewis, but changed his mind and recalled the order of arrest and 

Digitized by 


Centenary of The Supreme Court 109 

immediately released Judge Hall. The sturdy General doubtless 
came to the conclusion that two judges in the right were more 
than a match for him. 

The incident is mentioned in order to add that in those days 
the best of feeling must have existed between the state and the 
federal authorities. 

The fraternal feeling began early in our history. May it 
continue always ! Courts reasonably united, all seeking to proper- 
ly administer the laws, are among the powerful agencies in the 
cause of "faith, of country, and of home." 


Offered by the Rt. Rev. Davis Sessums, Bishop of Louisiana. 

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, 
be always acceptable in Thy sight, Lord, my Strength and my 

Lord God, the Supreme Governor of all the earth, look 
down, we pray Thee, upon all who bear rule among Thy people 
and upon those who are appointed to execute justice, and especial- 
ly upon the Supreme Court of this commonwealth. Give them wis- 
dom and grace, we beseech Thee, ri;?htly and impartially to dis- 
charge their solemn duties, so that l)y their judgments and de- 
crees law and order may be upheld, justice be administered, inno- 
cence relieved, the claims of mercy be duly regarded, righteous- 
ness be promoted, and the establishn:-?nt of Thy Kingdom be 
advanced amongst men. 

Enlighten, we pray Thee, all who frame the laws of this land, 
and especially of this state, and increase and strengthen amongst 
the people the spirit of obedience as the safeguard of liberty. To 
those who judge and those who obey impart, we beseech Thee, 
single-minded devotion to the truth ; so that prosperity and moral 
and religious welfare may be joined together, and peace and hap- 
piness be multiplied amongst us ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and 
the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen. 

Digitized by 


110 The Louisiana Historical Qtmrterly 


The Celebration of the Centenary of the Supreme Court of 

Louisiana, Saturday, the First Day of March, 

Ninenteen Hundred and Thirteen, 

■ New Orleans. 

THE COURT— 1813. 

Dominick Augustin Hall. 

George Mathews. 

Pierre Derbigny. 

Attorney General: Francois-Xavier Martin. 

THE COURT— 1913. 

Chief Justice: Joseph A. Breaux. 

Associate Justices : Frank A. Monroe, Olivier O. Provosty, 

Alfred D. Land, Walter B. Sommerville. 

Clerk of Supreme Court of Louisiana: Paul E. Mortimer. 

Attorney General: Ruff in G. Pleasant. 


Saturday, March First, Nineteen-Thirteen in the 

New Court House Building. 

En Banc. 

The Supreme Court of Louisiana and the Judges of the 

Federal Courts. 

Very Rev. J. D. Foulkes, S. J. 


(Monday, March 1, 1813) 

Paul E. Mortimer, Clerk. 

Opening Address^ 
Joseph W. Carroll, Master of Ceremonies. 

Address of Welcome, 
Governor Luther E. Hall. 

The Centenary of the Supreme Court, 

"The History," Henry Plauche Dart. 

*The Jurisprudence," Charles Payne Fenner. 

"The Bar," Thomas C. W. Ellis. 

Digitized by 


Centenary of The Supreme Court 111 

Response by the Chief Justice, 
Joseph A. Breaux. 

Right Rev. Davis Sessums, D. D. 


Ephraim Klrby , Mar. 1804-Oot. 2, 1804 

John B. Prevost Mar. 1804-Nov. 14, 1808 

William Sprigg Jan. 17, 1806-Nov. 10, 1806 

George Mathews Jan. 19, 1806-Mar. 1, 1813 

Joshua Lewis Nov. 10. 1806-Mar. 1. 1813 

John Thompson Nov. 14, 1808-Mar. 21, 1810 

Francois -Xavier Martin Mar. 21, 1810-Mar. 1, 1813 


Dominick Augustin Hall Mar. 1, 1813-July 3, 1813 

George Mathews Mar. 1, 1813-Nov. 14. 1836 

Pierre Derbigny Mar. 9, 1813-Dec. 15, 1820 

Francois-Xavier Martin Feb. 1, 1815-Mar. 19, 1846 

Alexander Porter, Jr Jan. 2, 1821-Dec. 16, 1833 

Henry Adams BuUard Feb. 4 ,1834-Feb. 1, 1839 

Henry Carleton April- 1. 1837-Feb. 1, 1839 

Pierre Adolphe Rost Mar. 4, 1839-June 30, 1839 

George Eustis Mar. 4, 1839-May 30, 1839 

George Strawbridge Aug. 3, 1839-Dec. 1, 1839 

Alonzo Morphy Aug. 31, 1839-Mar. 19, 1846 

Edward Simon Jan. 1, 1840-Mar. 19, 1846 

Rice Garland Jan. 1, 1840-Mar. 19. 1846 

Henry Adams Bullard Jan. 1, 1840-Mar. 19, 1846 

George Eustis, C. J Mar. 19, 1846-May 4, 1853 

Pierre Adolphe Rost Mar. 19, 1846-May 4. 1853 

George Rogers King Mar. 19, 1846-Mar. 1. 1850 

Thomas Slidell Mar. 19, 1846-May 4, 1853 

Isaac T. Preston Mar. 1, 1850-July 5, 1852 

William Dunbar Sept. 1, 1852-May 4, 1853 

Thomas Slidell, C. J May 4, 1853-June 18. 1855 

Cornelius Voorhles May 4, 1853-April 27, 1859 

Alexander M. Buchanan May 4, 1853-May 6, 1862 

Abner Nash Ogden May 4, 1853-June 30, 1855 

James G. Campbell May 4, 1853-Oct. 17. 1854 

Henry M. Spofford Nov. 6, 1854-Nov. 1. 1858 

Jameaf N. Lea July 23, 1855-April 6, 1857 

Edwin Thomas Merrick. C. J Aug. 1, 1855-April 1, 1865 

James L. Cole May 4, 1857-Mar. 12. 1860 

Thomas T. Land Nov. 1, 1858-April 1. 1865 

Albert Voorhies May 3. 1859-April 1, 1865 

Albert Duffel Mar. 12, 1860-April 1, 1865 

Peter E. Bonford 1863 1864 

Thomas C. Manning 1864 1865 

William B. Hyman, C. J April 1, 1865-Nov. 1. 1868 

Zenon Labauve April 1, 1865-Nov. 1. 1868 

John H. Ilsley April 1. 1865-Nov. 1. 1868 

Rufus K. Howell April 1, 1865-Jan. 9, 1877 

Robert B. Jones April 1, 1865-July 1, 1866 

James G. Taliaferro July 1, 1866-Nov. 3. 1876 

John T. Ludeling. C. J Nov. 1, 1868-Jan. 9. 1877 

William G. Wyly Nov. 1, 1868-Nov. 3, 1876 

William WMrt Howe Nov. 1, 1868-Dec. 3, 1872 

John H. Kennard Dec. 3. 1872-Feb. 1. 1873 

Philip Hickey Morgan Feb. 1, 1873-Jan. 9. 1877 

John Edwards Leonard Nov. 3, 1876-Jan. 9, 1877 

John Edward King Jan. 9, 1877-Jan. 9. 1877 

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The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Thomas C. Manning, C. J Jan. 9, 1877-AprU 5, 1880 

Robert Hardin Marr Jan. 9. 1877-April 5. 1880 

Alciblades De Blanc Jan. 9, 1877-April 5, 1880 

William B. Egan Jan. 9, 1877-Nov. 30. 1878 

William B. Spencer Jan. 9, 1877-April 5/ 1880 

Edward Douglass White Jan. 11, 1879-April 5. 1880 

Edward Bermudez, C. J April 5. 1880-April 5, 1892 

Felix P. Poch6 April 5, 1880-April 5, 1890 

Robert B. Todd April 5, 1880-June 11. 1888 

William M. Levy April 5. 1880-Nov. 5. 1882 

Charles E. Fenner April 5, 1880-Sept. 1, 1893 

Thomas C. Manning Dec. 1, 1882-April 19. 1886 

Lynn B. Watkins April 19. 1886-Mar. 2, 1901 

Samuel Douglas McEnery June 11,1888-Mar. A, 1897 

Joafeph A. Breaux April 5, 1890-April 4, 1904 

Francis T. Nicholls, C. J April 5. 1892-April 4, 1904 

Charles Parlange Sept. 1, 1893-Jan. 1, 1894 

Henry Carleton Miller Feb. 1. 1894-Mar. 4, 1899 

Newton Crain Blanchard Mar. 4. 1897-Oct. 17, 1903 

Francis T. Nicholls April 4, 1904-Mar. 18, 1911 

Joseph A. Breaux, C. J April 5, 1904-April 5. 1914 


Francois-Xavier Martin 1812-15 

Etienne Mazureau 1815-17 

Louis Moreau-Lislet 1817-18 

Thomas Boiling Robertson 1 819-20 

Etienne Mazureau 1820-23 

Lsuar T. Preston 1823-29 

Alonzo Morphy 1829-29 

George Eustis 1830-32 

Etienne Mazureau 1832-40 

Christian Roselius 1841-42 

Lsaac T. Preston 1843-45 

William A. Elmore 1846-50 

Isaac Johnson 1851-52 

Isaac E. Morse 1853-55 

E. Warren Moise 1855-59 

Thomas J. Semmes 1860-62 

F. S. Goode 1862-64 

Andrew S. Herron 1865-65 

B. S. Lynch 1865-67 

Simeon Belden 1868-71 

A. P. Field 1872-76 

William H. Hunt 1876-76 

Hiram R. Steele 1876-76 

Horatio N. Ogden 1877-79 

James C. Egan 1880-84 

Milton J. Cunningham 1884-88 

Walter Henry Rogers 1888-92 

Milton J. Cunningham 1892-1900 

Walter Guion 1900-12 

Ruffin G. Pleasant 1912- 


Francois-Xavier Martin 1809-31 

Branch W. Miller 1831-34 

Thomas Curry 1834-42 

Merritt W. Robinson 1842-52 

William W. King 1852-52 

William M. Randolph 18r.2-57 

Abner N. Ogden 1857-6.') 

S. F Glenn 1805-67 

Jacob Hawkins 1867-73 

CharU'H Gayarr^ 1873-76 

Percy Roberts 1877-79 

Henry Denis 1880-95 

Walter H. Rogers 1895-1902 

Thomas H. Thorpe 1902-07 

Charles G. Gill 1907- 

At New Orleans. 

R. F. Hamilton March 1, 1813 

Chafe*. Derbigny June 7, 1814 

N. N. Le Breton November 27, 1820 

A. Cuvilller December 11, 1837 

Charles Durocher July 1, 1843 

Eugene I^sere November 26, 1845 

J. Madison Wells, Jr April 3, 1865 

John M. Howell January 9, 1*872 

Alfred Roman January 9, 1877 

George W. Dupr6 April 5, 1880 

Joseph F. Poch^ February 1, 1889 

Thomas McC. Hyman. .January 19, 1891 
Paul E. Mortimer June 30, 1909 

At Monroe. 

Henry M. Bry June 26, 1846 

Robert Taylor March 27, 1850 

Franklin Garret July 9, 1866 

W. H. Dinkgrove July 12, 1869 

John H. Dinkgrove July 7, 1873 

Talbot Stillman July 2, 1877 

Robert J. Wilson June 7, 1880 

At Opelousas. 

Pierre Labiche June 26, 1846 

(The Court House and Records 
burned in 1886) 

Benamin R. Rogers 

L. S. Taylor 

B. F. Mequiley July 2, 1888 

At Alexandria. 

William Wilson August 2, 1813 

M. A. Airail June 26, 1846 

Duncan C. Goodwin Sept. 17, 1850 

At Shreveport. 

S. M. Morrison October 11, 18S0 

P. J. Trezevant October 13, 1884 

William G. Boney October 22, 1887 

William P. Ford Sei)tember 20, 1890 

H. H. Hargrove October 9, 1893 

Note: The above lists were prepar- 
ed as follows: Attorneys General and 
Reporters by William Kernan Dart, 
of the New Orleans bar; (Merks. by 
John A. Klotz, dei)uty clerk of the Su- 
premo Court. 

Digitized by 


Centenary of The Supreme Court 113 

The Justices op the Supreme Court. 
By William Kernan Dart, of the New Orleans Bar. 

This list of the Justices of the Supreme Court is arranged 
chronologically in the order of appointment. In those cases where 
biographical data is accessible, such information is given. The 
list includes the name of every justice, including the members of 
the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans. The brackets 
after the names indicate the term of service. The compiler has 
gathered this work from scattered directions, and in several cases 
has succeeded in obtaining only fragmentary information owing 
to the chaotic condition of sources. 

Ephraim Kirby, (1804-04) : Born Litchfield, Conn., February 
23, 1757; died at Ft. Stoddard, Miss., October 2, 1804. Kirby 
served through the Revolutionary War, and was left for dead 
on the field at Germantown. He was graduated from Yale. Served 
in Connecticut Legislature, 1791-1804, and as United States Su- 
pervisor of Revenues, 1801. He published the first volume of le- 
gal reports in the United States, those of Connecticut, in 1789. 
He was several times a candidate for Governor of Connecticut. 
Upon the acquisition of Louisiana, Jefferson appointed him a 
iudge of the Territorial Court of Orleans, and while en route to 
take his office he died at Ft. Stoddard, Miss. 

John B. Prevost (March, 1804-November, 1808) : Born in 
1770 in the West Indies, the son of a British officer. His mother 
moved to New York, and in 1782 married Aaron Burr. In 1804 
Prevost was a recorder in New York City. Jefferson commis- 
sioned him a judge of the new Territorial Court. Arriving in New 
Orleans October 29, 1804, he opened the Superior Court with a 
charge to the grand jury on Monday, November 5, 1804. He tried 
the famous Garcia and Bollman Cases. After his retirement from 
the bench he practiced law for many years in New Orleans. In 
1822 he was United States agent to investigate the rights of the 
rebels in the Spanish colonies. He died between 1830 and 1840. 

William Sprigg (January 17, 1806-November, 1808) : Was a 
member of Congress from Maryland, 1801-02. In the latter year 
he moved to Ohio, and in 1806 to Orleans. 

George Matthews, Jr, {or Mathews) (January 19, 1806-Nov- 
ember 14, 1836) : Born Staunton, Va., September 21, 1774; died 
Bayou Sara, La., November 14, 1836. His father was the Gov- 

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114 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

emor of Georgia who signed the famous Yazoo fund bill, and was 
a Revolutionary veteran. He (the judge) removed to Georgia in 
1785, and was admitted to the bar in 1799. Appointed by Jeffer- 
son a judge of the Superior Court of Mississippi in 1805, and in 
the following year was transferred to Orleans. In 1813 he became 
presiding judge of the court, and remained such until his death. 
He learned the civil law after ascending the bench. He left a very 
large fortune at his death, and his will was successfully attacked ; 
one of its dispositions being annulled by the Supreme Court. 

Joshua Lewis (November 10, 1806-March 1, 1813) : Born Jes- 
samine county, Va., June 5, 1773, died at New Orleans, 1833. 
Emigrated to Kentucky and was a political advisor of Henry Clay. 
Was one of the three commissioners whom Jefferson appointed 
to take charge of Louisiana. Was a member of the Kentucky 
Legislature. After his retirement from the Superior Court bench, 
he became judge of the Fourth District Court, which position he 
held from 1813 to his death. Defeated for Governor of Louisiana 
in 1816 by Jacques Villere. Was a lieutenant at the Battle of New 
Orleans, although he occupied a judicial position. Left a large 

John Thompson (November 14, 1808-February, 1810) : Died 
in New Orleans in 1810, and was succeeded by F.-X. Martin. 

FranfoiS'Xavier Martin (March 21, 1810-March 1, 1813; 
February 1, 1815-March 19, 1846) : Born Marseilles, France, 
March 17, 1764; died New Orleans, December 11, 1846. At 18 
he emigrated to Martinique, and from there he went in 1786 to 
New Bern, N. C. Learned English by typesetting as a printer. 
Printed a number of books, and a daily paper in North Carolina. 
He was admitted to the bar in 1789. Issued a digest of North 
Carolina cases and laws, and translated Pothier on Obligations. 
Author of History of North Carolina (1806-07), Martin's Lou- 
isiana Digest, Martin's History of Louisiana. Was a member of 
the North Carolina Legislature. Appointed in 1809 a judge of the 
Mississippi territory, and in 1810 was transferred to Orleans. 
From February, 1813, to January, 1815, was Attorney General of 
Louisiana, and was reappointed to the bench that year. Left a 
large estate ; his will was unsuccessfully attacked on the grounds 
of fraud. He was a brilliant and learned judge. His latter years 
on the bench were marred by total blindness, and certain dis- 
agreeable personal eccentricities. 

Digitized by 


Centevary of The Supreme Court 115 

Dominick Augustin Hall (March 1, 1813-July 1, 1813) : Born 
South Carolina, 1765; died in New Orleans, December 12, 1820. 
Practiced law in Charleston. U. S. District Judge, Orleans, 1803- 
12. Resigned to become state judge, and four months later re- 
appointed federal district judge. As such he fined General An- 
drew Jackson $1,000 for contempt of court during the Battle 
of New Orleans. This fine was repaid with interest by Congress 
in 1844. 

Pierre Auguste Charles Bourisgay Derbigny (March 1, 1813- 
December 15, 1820) : Born in Laon, Lille, Department du Nord, 
France, 1767 ; died Gretna, La., October 6, 1829. He was descend- 
ed from a French noble family which was compelled to migrate 
in 1793. He first went to St. Domingo, and thence to Pittsburg, 
Pa. At the latter place he married the sister of the French Gov- 
ernor, and then moved in succession to Missouri, Florida, and Lou- 
isiana. In 1803 he was private secretary to Etienne Bor6, mayor 
of New Orleans ; in the same year Governor Claiborne appointed 
him official interpreter of languages for the territory. He deli- 
vered the first Fourth of July oration in the territory in 1804. 
Clerk of court of common pleas, 1804; secretary of legislative 
counsel, same year. Member of first Louisiana House of Represen- 
tatives, 1812, but resigned to become judge. His nomination was 
first rejected by the Senate, but was afterwards returned and con- 
firmed at the Senate's request. He retired from the bench to run 
for Govrnor, and was defeated by T. B. Robertson. Secretary of 
State of Louisiana, 1820-27. Appointed with Livingston and Mo- 
reau to revise the Civil Code in 1820. In 1828 he was elected 
Governor, and was killed by being thrown from his carriage 
against a tree the following year. He was a prime factor in ob- 
taining the admission of Louisiana. He also ran the first ferry 
across the Mississippi at New Orleans. 

Alexander Porter, Jr. (January 2, 1821-December 16, 1833) : 
Born Armagh county, Tyrone, Ireland, 1786 ; died Attakapas, La., 
January 13, 1844. His father, a Presbyterian clergyman, was 
executed in Ireland as an English spy in 1798, and the orphan 
thereupon came to America with his uncle in 1801. He settled at 
Nashville, and on the advice of Andrew Jackson moved to Lou- 
isiana. Admitted to the bar in 1807. Member of the Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1812. Elected to United States Senate, 1833, 
serving until 1837. Voted as a senator to censure Jackson for 

Digitized by 


116 The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 

removing deposits, and favored Texan Independence- Again 
elected United States Senator in 1843, and died in office. 

Henry Adams Bullard (February 4, 1834-February 1, 1839; 
January 1, 1840-March 19, 1846) : Born Groton, Mass.. Septem- 
ber 9, 1788 ; died New Orleans, April 17, 1851. He was graduated 
from Harvard in 1807. Shortly thereafter he joined General To- 
ledo to start a revolution in Mexico, and spent the winter of 1812 
as his aide at Nashville. In the spring of 1813, he went to New 
Mexico, and was defeated by the royal troops in a pitched battle 
at San Antonio. After severe hardships he reached Natchitoches, 
and started to practice law. In 1822 he was elected to the district 
bench, and to Congress in 1833, from which he retired to become 
Justice. Became Secretary of State of Louisiana in 1839, and the 
following year returned to the bench. In 1847 he became Profes- 
sor of Civil Law at the University of Louisiana. Served a term 
in the Legislature, and a few weeks later was re-elected to Con- 
gress. After one year of Congress, he fell ill because of the hard- 
ships of the return journey, and died. He was the first president 
of the Louisiana Historical Association. 

Henry Carleton (April 1, 1837-February 1, 1839) : Born in 
Virginia about 1785; died at Philadelphia, March 28, 1863. His 
family name was originally Coxe. He was graduated from Yale 
in 1806; he moved to Mississippi, and then to New Orleans in 
1814. He served at the Battle of New Orleans as a lieutenant 
of infantry under Jackson. With Moreau-Lislet he published a 
translation of the Partidas. He was United States district at- 
torney in 1832, and then became Justice. He resigned from the 
bench because of ill health, traveled about Europe, and on his re- 
turn settled in Philadelphia, where he devoted himself to biblical, 
metaphysical, and philosophical studies. Published Liberty and 
Necessity (1857), and an Essay on Will (1863). Adhered to the 
Union during the war. 

Pierre Adolphe Rost (March 4, 1839-June 30, 1839; March 
19, 1846-May 4, 1853) : Born in Garonne, France, 1797; died at 
New Orleans, September 6, 1868. Took part in the defense of 
Paris, 1814, and then became a member of Napoleon's army. Emi- 
grated in 1816 to America, landing at Natchez, Miss. Subse- 
quently removed to Louisiana. State Legislature, 1822. Selected 
the name for Lafayette parish when it was created. Defeated for 
Congress. Appointed to the supreme bench in 1839, and served 

Digitized by 


Centenary of The Supreme Court 117 

a few months. Again appointed under the Constitution of 1845. 
During the Civil War was a Confederate Commissioner to Spain. 

George Eustis (March 4, 1839-May 30, 1839; December 1, 
1839; March 19, 1846-May 4, 1853) : First Chief Justice. Bom 
Boston, Mass., October 20, 1796 ; died New Orleans, December 22, 
1858. Was graduated from Harvard, 1815. Served as private 
secretary to Governor William Eustis, who was then Minister to 
The Hague. Studied law there, and moved to New Orleans in 
1817. Admitted to the bar in 1822. Served several terms in 
liegislature. Secretary of State, Commissioner of the Board of 
Currency. Attorney General of Louisiana, member of the Conven- 
tion of 1845. Became first Chief Justice of Louisiana under the 
Convention of 1845. Had previously been Associate Justice, and 
had declined a reappointment as such in December, 1839. LL. D., 

George Strawbridge (August 31, 1839-December 1, 1839) : 
A native of Maryland. After he retired from the supreme bench, 
he became judge of the Fourth District Court, serving 1846-53. 
Ran for Associate Justice in 1853, but was defeated for election. 

Alonzo Morphy (August 31, 1839-March 19, 1846) : Born 
Charleston, S. C. ; died New Orleans, 1856. Moved to Louisiana, 
and studied law under Livingston. Member of Legislature, and 
Attorney General of the state. He was the father of Paul Mor- 
phy. chess player. 

Edward Simon (January 1, 1840-March 19, 1846) : Born 
May 26, 1799, Tournay* Haynaut, Belgium. Studied at Univer- 
sity of Louvain, and studied civil law at Brussels. Emigrated to 
London in 1817, and from there to Baltimore, where he went into 
the cotton business. Moved to Louisiana, settling at St. Martins- 
ville. After retirement from bench, became a sugar planter. Died 
between 1860 and 1870. 

Rice Garland (January 1, 1840-March 19, 1846) : A native 
of Virginia. Member of Congress, 1834-40. Died about 1861 in 

George Rogers King (March 19, 1846-March 1, 1850) : Born 
in St. Landry parish. La., 1807; died there March 21, 1871. Was 
graduated from University of Virginia. Served successively as 
state legislator, district attorney, district judge, and Associate 

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118 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Thomas Slidell (March 19, 1846-May 4. 1853; May 4, 1853- 
July, 1855) : Second Chief Justice. Born in New York, 1805, 
died there 1860. Educated at Yale, and in Spain. Wrote a Year 
in Spain, and author of A Digest of Supreme Court Decisions, 
with J. P. Benjamin. Was elected Chief Justice, his opponent be- 
ing Christian Roselius, under the Constitution of 1852, and at the 
election was assaulted by a ruffian. This assault affected his brain, 
and caused his retirement from the bench. 

Isaac Trimble Preston (March 1, 1850-July 5, 1852) : Born 
Rockbridge county, Va., 1793; died on Lake Pontchartrain, La., 
July 5, 1852. Was graduated from Yale in 1812, and was captain 
of a volunteer company during the War of 1812. Studied law un- 
der William Wirt. Member of the Constitutional Convention of 
1845. Was killed by a steamboat disaster while returning from a 
pleasure trip. 

William Dunbar (September 1, 1852-May 4, 1853) : Served 
in Congress from 1853 to 1855. 

Cornelius Voorhies (May 4, 1853-April, 1859) : Of Dutch 
descent. Born Avoyelles parish, 1803. Died, 1859. District At- 
torney, State Senator, District Judge, and Supreme Court Justice. 
His son succeeded him on the bench. 

Alexander M. Buchanan (May 4, 1853-1862) : Judge of the 
Fourth District Court before his ascension to the bench. 

Abner Nash Ogden (May 4, 1853-July,1855) : Declined a seat 
on the federal bench at one time. 

James G. Campbell (May 4, 1853-1855). 

Henry Martyn Spofford (1854-November 1, 1858) : Bom 
Germanton, N. H., September 8, 1821 ; died Red Sulphur Springs, 
W. Va., August 20, 1880. Was graduated from Amherst in 1840 
at the head of his class. Admitted to bar at Monroe, La., 1846, 
and practiced at Shreveport, La. District Judge, 1852-54. Re- 
signed from Supreme Court in 1858. After the war was in part- 
nership with John A. Campbell, Ex Justice of the United States 
Supreme Court. Elected to the United States Senate in 1877, but 
the Senate seated his opponent. LL. D., Amherst, 1877. Co-author 
of Louisiana Magistrate. 

James Neilson Lea (July, 1855-1858) : Born at Baton Rouge, 
La., November 26, 1815; died at Lexington, Va., October 29, 1884. 
Was graduated from Yale in 1834. Judge of Second District 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 119 

Court, 1849-55. After war became Professon of Civil Law at 
Washington and Lee College. 

Edwin Thomas Merrick (July, 1885-April 3, 1865) : Third 
Chief Justice. Bom in Massachusetts, 1810; died in New Orleans, 
1897. Moved to Ohio, and then to Clinton, La., where he was a 
District Judge until elected Chief Justice. He was noted for his 

James L. Cole (April 6, 1857-March 12, 1860; 1863-65): 
When the Federals attempted to reorganize the Judiciary he was 
appointed to his former position, but the court never as a fact 

Thomas Thompson Land (November 1, 1858- April 3, 1865) : 
Born Rutherford county, Va., December 17, 1815 ; died Shreve- 
port, La., June 27, 1893." With his parents he moved first to Ala- 
bama, and then to Mississippi. Was graduated from the Univer- 
sity of Virginia. A member of the Mississippi Legislature in 
1839. Moved to Shreveport in 1846. Judge of the District Court, 
1854-58. Member of the Convention of 1879, where he was chair- 
man of the judiciary committee. He was the father of Justice 
Alfred D. Land. 

Albert Voorhies (April 1859.April 1865) : Born St. Fran- 
cisville, La., 1829 ; died New Orleans, January, 1913. Son of Judge 
Cornelius Voorhies. After the war he became Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor of Louisiana, 1865-68, and subsequently served as a District 
Judge in New Orleans. 

Albert Duffel (March 12, 1860- April, 1862). 

Pierre Emile Bonford (1863- August 17, 1864) : Appointed by 
the Confederate State Government, and served until his death at 
Alexandria, La., Aug. 17, 1864. 

Thomas Courtland Manning (1864-65; January 9, 1877- April 
5, 1880; December 1, 1882-April 19, 1886) : Sixth Chief Justice. 
Born at Edenton, N. C, 1831 ; died New York City, October 11, 
1887. Was graduated from the University of North Carolina. 
Removed to Alexandria, La., 1855. Member of Secession Conven- 
tion of 1861. Served in the war as a Lieutenant-Colonel and Bri- 
gadier-General of the Confederacy, retiring to succeed Bonford 
as Justice in 1864. He declined Democratic nominations for Gov- 
ernor in 1872, and for presidential elector. He was a vice-presi- 
dent of the Tilden nominating convention. In 1880, he was 
Democratic presidential elector, and in the same year was ap- 

Digitized by 


120 The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 

pointed United States Senator, but was not admitted. He was 
named Chief Justice when the Democrats regained control of the 
state government. In 1882 he was appointed Associate Justice. 
From 1886 until he died he was United States Minister to Mexico. 

Charles A. Peabody (1863-65) : Provisional Judge of Lou- 
isiana during the war. He was commissioned Chief Justice of 
Louisiana by the Federal 'State Government, and dr6w a salary, 
but never heard a case. 

John S. Whittaker (1863-65) : He was commissioned an As- 
sociate Justice by the Federal State Government, but never served. 
He was born in Massachusetts, March 8, 1817, and died about 
1897. He served as Criminal District Judge of New Orleans 
during the latter part of the war period. 

William B. Hyman (April 3, 1865-November 1, 1868) : Fourth 
Chief Justice. Born, Marion county, N. C, 1814; died in 1884. 
Moved to Alexandria, La., about 1840. Parish judge, Rapides, 
1865-69. After his retirement from the Supreme Bench became 
parish judge of Jefferson, and later parish surveyor. 

Zenon Labauve (April 3, 1865-November 1, 1868) : Born in 
West Baton Rouge, February 16, 1801 ; died in Iberville parish, 
1870. State Senator, 1834-36, 1842-43. Member of Constitutional 
Convention of 1845. State Senator, 1851. Justice, 1865-68. 

John Henry Ilsley (April 3, 1865-November 1, 1868) : Bom 
June 22, 1806, London, Eng.; died Donaldsonville, La., May 9, 
1880. Was graduated from Oxford University, and emigrated to 
America when 19. Taught school until admitted to bar. Several 
sons served in the Confederate Army. 

Rufus K. Howell (April 3, 1865-January 9, 1877). 

Robert Byron Jones (May 1, 1865-July 1, 1866). Born in 
Florida, in 1833. Died July 20, 1867, at New Orleans. 

James G. Taliaferro (July 1, 1866-November 3, 1876) : Born 
Amherst county, Va., 1798; died Catahoula parish, 1876. Educat- 
ed Transylvania University, Ky. Member of Secession Conven- 
tion, 1861, but voted against secession and remained a Union man. 
Of Italian descent. Moved to Louisiana in 1814. Parish judge, 
1840. Member of the Constitutional Conventions of 1852 and 

John T. Ludeling (November 1, 1868- January 9, 1877) : Fifth 
Chief Justice. Born in Monroe, La., 1822. Died January, 1890. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 121 

William Gillespie Wyly (November 1, 1868-November 3, 
1876) : Born Greenville, Tenn., February, 1831 ; died on S. S. St. 
Louis en route from Liverpool to New York, September 25, 1903. 
Was graduated from Jefferson College. In 1868 elected a District 
Judge, but resigned shortly thereafter to become Supreme Court 

William Wirt Hoive (November 1, 1868-December 3, 1872) : 
Born Canandaigua, N. Y., November 24, 1833; died at New Or- 
leans, 1911. Was graduated from Hamilton College. Major in 
United States army during the war. Served one year as presi- 
dent of the American Bar Association. Published Studies in Civil 
Law. Judge of Criminal District Court, 1868, which he resigned 
to become Associate Justice. United States District Attorney, 

John H. Kennard (December 3, 1872-February 1, 1873) : 
Died at New Orleans, May 2, 1887. Was appointed to the bench, 
and unseated after a brief service, being succeeded by Morgan. 

Philip Hickey Morgan (February 1, 1873- January 9, 1877) : 
Born Baton Rouge, La., November 9, 1825; died about 1892. Dis- 
trict Judge, 1855-61. United States District Attorney, 1866-73. 
United States Representative on International Tribunal at Egypt, 
1881-85. Subsequently United States Minister to Mexico. 

John Edwards Leonard (November 3, 1876- January 9, 
1877) : Born at Chester county. Pa., September 22, 1845; died at 
Havana, Cuba, March 15, 1878. Was graduated from Harvard and 
from Heidelberg. Moved to Louisiana, where he became District 
Attorney, and subsequently Justice. Elected to Congress in 1876. 

John Edward King (January 9, 1877- January 9, 1877) : Ap- 
pointed by Governor Packard to succeed Judge Wyly. He served 
one day only ; the court being turned out of office by the Demo- 
crats on that day. 

Robert Hardin Marr (January 9, 1877-April 5, 1880) : Born 
Clarksville, Tenn., October 29, 1819. Presidential Elector on Bell 
ticket in 1860. Judge of Criminal District Court. Died in New 
Orleans, November 18, 1892. 

Alcibiade De Blanc (January 9, 1877-April 5, 1880) : Mem- 
ber Secession Convention of 1861. Colonel of C. S. A. Died at St. 
Martinsville, La., November 9, 1883. 

William B. G. Egan (January 9, 1877-November, 1878) : 
A native of Virginia. Died at New Orleans, November 1878. 

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122 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

William B. Spencer (January 9, 1877-April 5, 1880) : Born 
Catahoula parish, La., February 5, 1835 ; died at Cordova, Mexico, 
April 29, 1882. Member of Congress, May 31, 1876-January 8, 

Edward Douglass White (January 1879- April 5, 1880) : Born 
Lafourche parish. La., November 3, 1845. Was graduated from 
Georgetown (D. C). Served in Confederate Army. State Sena- 
tor, 1874. United States Senator, 1891-94. Associate Justice 
United States Supreme Court, February 19, 1894-December 12, 
1910. Since the latter date he has been Chief Justice of the United 

Edward Bermudez (April 5, 1880- April 5, 1892) : Seventh 
Chief Justice. Born New Orleans, January 19, 1832 ; died there 
August 22, 1892. Member Secession Convention of 1861. Served 
in Confederate Army. Assistant City Attorney, 1866. 

Felix Pierre Poche (April 5, 1880-ApriI 5, 1890) : Born St. 
James parish, May, 18, 1836; died at New Orleans, June 21, 1895. 
Served in Confederate Army. State Senator, 1866. 

Robert Burr Todd (April 5, 1880.June 11, 1888) : Died at 
Brooklyn, N. Y., February 4, 1901. 

William Mallary Levy (April 5, 1880-November 5, 1882) : 
Born Isle of Wight county, Va., October 30, 1827 ; died Saratoga, 
N. Y., November 5, 1882. Served in Mexican War, and in Con- 
federate Army. State Representative, 1859-61 ; Democratic Presi- 
dential Elector, 1860. Congressman, 1875-77. 

Charles Erasmus Fenner (April 5, 1880-September 1, 1893) : 
Born at Jackson, Tenn., February 14, 1834 ; died at New Orleans, 
October 24, 1911. Served in Confederate Army. President of 
Tulane Educational Fund, and of Boston Club. Noted as orator. 

Lynn Boyd Watkins (April 19, 1886-March 2, 1901) : Born 
Caldwell county, Ky., October 9, 1836 ; died at New Orleans, March 
2, 1901. Served in Confederate Army. District Judge, 1871. 

Samuel Douglas McEnery (June 11, 1888-March 4, 1897) : 
Born Monroe, La., May 28, 1837; died at New Orleans, June 28, 
1910. Was graduated from the Naval Academy, and the Univer- 
sity of Virginia. Served in Confederate Army. Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor of Louisiana, 1879-81; Governor, 1881-88. Defeated for 
Governor in 1892. Elected United States Senator in 1897, and 
served till he died. 

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Centenary of The Supreme Court 123 

Joseph A. Breaux (April 5, 1890- April 4, 1904; April 4, 
1904-April 3, 1914) : Ninth Chief Justice. Born February 18, 
1838. Served in Confederate Army. Served as Associate Justice 
from 1890 to 1904, when he became Chief Justice. Compiler of 
Breaux's Digest. 

Francis Tillou Nicholls (April 5, 1892- April 4, 1904; April 
4, 1904-March 18, 1911): Born Donaldsonville, La., 1834; died 
there January 4, 1912. Was graduated from West Point in 1855, 
served one year in regular army. Lost an eye, foot, and arm in 
Civil War, becoming a Major General of Confederate Army. Gov- 
ernor of Louisana, 1876-79, overthrowing Republican rule. Again 
Governor, 1888-92, overthrowing lottery. Chief Justice, 1892- 
1904, when he became Associate Justice. Retired on a pension 
in 1911, being the first judge in Louisiana to retire on a pension. 

Charles Parlange (September 1, 1893-January 1, 1894) : 
Born Pointe Coupee, La., 1852; died. New Orleans, February 5, 
1907. Member Constitutional Convention of 1879. State Senator, 
United States District Attorney, Lieutenant Governor. Retired 
from Supreme Court to become Federal District Judge, a position 
he occupied until his death. 

Henry Carleton Miller (February 1, 1894-March 4, 1899) : 
Bom Covington, La., February 1, 1828; died at New Orleans, 
March 4, 1899. United States District Attorney, 1856-61 ; C. S. A. 
District Attorney, 1861-65. Dean of Tulane Law School. 

Newton Crain Blanchard (March 4, 1897-October 17, 1903) : 
Born Rapides parish, January 29, 1849. Was graduated from 
Louisiana State University. Member Constitutional Convention 
of 1879. Congressman, 1881-93; United States Senator, 1893-97. 
Governor, 1904-08. Now practicing law at Shreveport. 

Frank Adair Monroe (March 22, 1899 ) : Born at Annap- 
olis, Md., August 30, 1844. Served in Confederate Army. Serv- 
ed a month as Judge of Third District Court in 1872, when he was 
dispossessed. Served in White League. Re-elected Judge, 1876. 
Judge Civil District Court, 1880-99. Member Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1898. Will succeed Judge Breaux as Chief Justice in 
April, 1914. 

Olivier O. Provosty (March 16, 1901-^ — ) : Born Pointe 
Coupee, La., August 2, 1852. Educated at Georgetown Univer- 
sity. District Attorney, 1873-76. Louisiana State Senate, 1888-92. 

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124 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Member of Constitutional Convention, 1898. Referee in bank- 
ruptcy, 1898-1901. 

Alfred Dillingham Land (October 17, 1903 ) : Born 

Holmes county. Miss., January 15, 1842. Son of Justice T. T. 
Land. Served in Confederate Army. District Judge, 1894-1903. 

Walter Byers Sommerville (March 18, 1911 ) : Bom 

October 7, 1854, at New Orleans, La. Prior to his present eleva- 
tion he was Assistant City Attorney, and Judge of the Civil Dis- 
trict Court. 

Luther Egbert Hall (April 5, 1912-April 5, 1912) : was 
elected Justice, but, having been elected Governor of Louisiana, 
never took his seat. Judge Land was subsequently re-elected to 
fill this vacancy. 

Charles A. O'Niell (April 4, 1914 ) : Has been elected to 

the vacancy created by Justice Breaux's retirement, and will take 
his seat on the above date. 


1813 1913 

The Centenary 

of the 

Supreme Court of Louisiana. 

The Chief Juaftice 

and the Associate Justices of the 

^preme Court of Louisiana 

Invite you to participate in the celebration of the 

One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of 

The Supreme Court of Louisiana 

to be held In the Court Room 

Saturday morning, March the first, 

nineteen hundred and thirteen. 

at eleven o'clock, 

New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Digitized by 



{From Grace King's Scrap Book) 

The records on file at the Custom House pertaining to the pur- 
chase of Louisiana by this government disclose a decidedly unsatis- 
factory and unencouraging condition of affairs in the new territory 
during the period from 1803 to 1805. The situation was abnormal 
and feverish. Smuggling was general, **fraud was fashionable," the 
customs regulations were more honored in the breach than in the 
observance, and a feeling of discontent among the natives was every- 
where prevalent. All this, however, was known to the United States 
government; and in order to more effectually counteract these evil 
tendencies President Jefferson instituted a policy of conciliation to be 
applied exclusively to the newly purchased territory of Louisiana 
and its people. 

The hundreds of letters written by Albert Gallatin to Hare 
Browse Trist, then collector of the port of New Orleans, were unre- 
mitting in their recommendations of a line of conduct having for its 
purpose the propitiation and pacification of the disaffected natives. 
This rule extended to all persons coming into contact or having any 
dealings whatever with the Federal government in Louisiana. The 
good results of this policy were not apparent until the latter part of 
Mr. Jefferson's first term of office, when conditions began to be nor- 
mal and the laws were being enforced — not rigidly, but with a liber- 
ality of construction that made them acceptable to the better classes, 
especially the business element. For the largeness of spirit with which 
the affairs of the national government were administered in Louis- 
iana the letters of Mr. Gallatin are profuse in their compliments to 
the collector of the port, Mr. Trist, whose authority at that time ex- 
tended over such a vast area of new country. 

Hare Browse Trist was the son of Nicholas Trist, a lieutenant 
in the Royal Irish Regiment. Lieut. Trist married Elizabeth House 
of Philadelphia, and H. B. Trist, the first collector of the port of New 
Orleans after the purchase of Louisiana by the United States govern- 
ment, was the only son of this marriage. He was born in Phila- 
delphia, February 22, 1775. At the time of the purchase of Louisiana 
Mr. Trist was United States collector of customs at Port Gibson, 
Miss., and when the sale of the new territory was effected he was 
transferred to New Orleans. He died of yellow fever within a year 
of the expiration of his term of office, but only after he had practi- 

Digitized by 


126 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

cally completed the great work intrusted to him of pacifying and 
establishing law and order in Louisiana. His direct descendants 
are N. B. Trist, the well-known notary in this city; N. P. Trist, 
and Mrs. R. C. Woods, grandchildren of H. B. Trist. H. B. Trist 
had two sons, the elder of whom, Nicholas, made the treaty of peace 
with Mexico. The Trist family, who originally came from Devon- 
shire, England, are connected by marriage with the family of Thomas 

An interesting feature of the letter of Mr. Gallatin given below 
is its reference to the 'Tourche," a stream which we know today as 
the **Lafourche." Col. Lewis Guion, speaking of this stream yester- 
day, said that the Lafourche empties into the Gulf of Mexico at two 
different points, and it is from this fact that it derives its name, 
meaning two-forked. Col. Guion had always understood that in the 
early history of Louisiana levees were unnecessary along the banks 
of the bayou, and that it was navigable for many miles for the largest 
sailing vessels. Now, however, the mouth of the bayou has become 
shoal and there are periods of the year when very few, if any, boats 
can enter. 

The letter given below was written April 9, 1804, by Treasurer 
Gallatin, to Mr. Trist, the collector of the port of New Orleans. 

**Hare Browse Trist: 

"Dear Sir: — You will herein receive a newspaper containing 
an act for imposing more specific duties after the 30th day of June 
next. A section has been introduced in that law for the purpose of 
remedying any inconvenience which might arise at New Orleans 
in revenue cases from the want of a District Court, and of relieving 
merchants and others there from any delays in the remission of fines, 
forfeitures and penalties incurred on account of more deviations from 
forms. On that subject the statute speaks for itself. It is the duty 
of the Secretary of the Treasury, under the act, to provide for investi- 
gating or remitting the forfeitures, penalties and disabilities occur- 
ring in certain cases therein mentioned, passed 3rd March, 1797, 
and rendered perpetual by a subsequent law, to mitigate or remit 
the penalty or remove the disability, if the same shall have been 
incurred without willful negligence or intention of fraud. This is the 
power which is now transferred for a limited time to the Governor, 
and will undoubtedly be exercised by him in such wise and discreet 
manner as at the same time to reconcile, by softening the rigid 
provisions of our revenue laws, the inhabitants of Louisiana to their 

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Ye Olden Tyme 127 

operation and to protect the revenue against any intentional fraud. 
As the Governor, for the time being, exercises also the power of the 
intendant, the process will be very simple, and he may, after having 
received our statement and objections, decide at once on petitions 
and communicate the result to you. It is proper to add that this 
power to remit forfeitures, penalties, and to remove disabilities, 
must strictly be confined to forfeitures, penalties and disabilities; 
that it never extends to the allowance of drawbacks when, by any 
deviations from the provisions of the law, qt by any omission of the 
party, they cannot legally be granted, nor to the remission of duties 
legally Incurred, except in the case where foreign duties may have 
been incurred by reason of a register being forfeited through some 
want of form, and the disability thence accruing is removed by the 
Secretary of the Treasury, or, in this case by the Governor of I^ouis- 
iana. Observe, however, that in cases where, under the registering 
act, a new register cannot be granted, no power exists, under the 
mitigation act, to restore the vessel to the privileges of a vessel of the 
United States. A case has been stated in which it will be particularly 
proper to remit the forfeitures: The importation of spirits, beer and 
loaf sugar in vessels of less contents than those prescribed by law; so 
long, at least, as it may be presumed that the importers could not 
have had notice of the law. 

**I wish to be informed whether any vessel can, from the sea, 
ascend the Tourche,' or any other outlet of the Mississippi. If so, 
an inspector, until a surveyor shall be appointed, should be located 
at the said place, or such outlet. I am led to that inquiry from ob- 
serving in a report of Dr. Watkins to Gov. Claiborne that a vessel 
with French stores of a suspicious appearance had some time ago, 
entered the Mississippi through that Tourche.* If it shall be neces- 
sary to have a boat there you may supply one, and I would recom- 
mend that whenever barges and boats shall be employed the person 
having the direction be instructed to report to you the soundings, 
both at low and high water, so as to collect precise information of the 
depth of water which vessels may, at drouth seasons, carry up those 
several outlets of the Mississippi. Congress having authorized the 
building of a lighthouse at the mouth of the Mississippi, I will write 
you by next mail particularly on that subject, and mention it now in 
order that you may, in the meantime, collect and communicate such 
information as relates to that object. 

** I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient 


Digitized by 



From the Scrapbook of Miss Grace King 

The veteran Colonel Cuthbert Bullitt, who loves Louisville 
and New Orleans, and who lives in both cities in their best 
seasons, and who has written much entertaining matter of the 
two cities, is again in New Orleans to spend the winter, looking 
as hale and hearty as a man of his years could be expected to look. 
Colonel Bullitt hands the Picayune the following note for publi- 
cation : 

Once more I am in New Orleans, not on my "native heath," 
but in the renowned Hotel Royal, which has its history, and as 
there are few men living able to tell of it, I will endeavor to do so, 
and as briefly as I can. 

Many years ago, before the late infernal war, when cotton 
was king, at high prices, and our golden coast along the shores of 
the big Mississippi was redolent with the sweet odor of sugar- 
making, everybody during the happy season had sugar on the 
brain, or cane juice in their mouths. Everybody seemed happy, 
with plenty of money, when the "ancient regime," the Creoles of 
Louisiana, reigned supreme in society, and having abundance of 
wealth, they determined to build a colossal hotel, that would 
eclipse all others in America, and at the same time remind them 
of the palaces and hotels of their faraway homes in "La Belle 
France !" 

With these ideas they built the St. Louis Hotel, with its won- 
derful dome, on a small scale, equal to that grand one at our 
capital, at Washington. 

Here is art in all its grandeur, done by the world's great 
artist, Canova, who came here for the express purpose. He has 
displayed his genius on its walls, with gods and goddesses stand- 
ing out in the respective panels, in bold relief, and where old Nep- 
tune, with his water nymphs, have a good time generally, and of 
a hot day I feel like taking a hand with them. 

Fifty years have passed by since this great hotel was erected. 
When the solons of the state were anxious to have a statehouse 
worthy of Louisiana, they purchased it, and now own it. 

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Remembrances of New Orleans 129 

In occupying it they deprived it of some of its grandeur by 
flooring over the second-story for the hall of representatives. 

Like all solons they sometimes make mistakes, and they con- 
cluded to abandon this noble structure and try Baton Rouge, 
from whence now fulminates the law, which ought to govern the 
State. Fortunately, they could not remove this glorious building, 
and representative of the old Creole population in whose midst 
it stands, a memorial of the best people that once held possession 
of all that was good. » 

The old St. Louis has gone, in all its glory, with its busy 
crowd of merchants and planters. The great auctions of land, 
horses, and negroes are heard no more, and in its place stands 
the great Hotel Royal, under the charge of Colonel Rivers, one of 
the best-known caterers in the country, where social luxury is 
served with a liberal hand, worthy of the good old days of Creole- 
ism, accompanied by an abundance of substantial good things. 

The beautiful rotunda, the repose of art, is now used as a 
"sailer a mange," or dining-room, where several hundred persons 
can be seated, and at night the brilliant lights from a huge chan- 
delier, with its hundreds of illuminating globes, make a scene 
worthy of the Arabian nights, where women are seen in all their 
splendor from the reflection from the great glasses, which adorn 
the walls in all directions, enabling every one to see each other 
without moving from their seats, and so a little of the gaudy glory 
of the old house is left for appreciating visitors. 


Digitized by 



From the Scrapbook of Miss Grace King. 

Correspondence of The Times-Democrat. 
Colfax, La., Aug. 5, 1896. 

The researches and accounts of the Llarto mounds have 
aroused some curiosity among those who take an interest in such 
matters. But more interesting and far richer fields invite the 
attention of the student of geology. I allude in particular to the 
stretch of blue bank on Red River lying twenty miles above here 
and just below Montgomery. There is a bank of a half mile in 
extent which is a rich find to the geologist. There is found in 
profusion sea shells, bones of salt water fishes, shark teeth, and 
other curios. I once found there a section from the jaw of a 
shark ; the teeth more than an inch and a half in length and the 
edges serrated similar to some of the extinct specimens named 
in geology by Lyell. Several years ago the State geologist here 
exhumed the fossil remains of an extinct specimen of the whale. 
But by far the greatest find is now in the office of Dr. M. A. 
Dunn, of this place. 

In 1895 Dr. Dunn found exposed in the sides of this blue 
bank the remains of an animal; the erosion and crumbling of 
bank had exposed it. The doctor went after suitable tools to ex- 
hume it. On his return the irrepressible fifteen-year-old boy was 
there and had damaged the find considerably, but enough is re- 
covered to identify the animal as the pterodactylus, which be- 
came extinct about the end of the palaezoic age; accurately 
described in Dr. Buckland's "Bridgewater Treatise." This hor- 
rible creature could fly, walk or swim. The orbital space (eight 
inches) indicates him to be a nocturnal animal also. The bones 
are of a density and hardness unknown in any of our living/ 
species. His gigantic flippers were armed with hooks, and on the 
end of the flipper was another hook or hand terribly armed. His 
jaws cut past each other like scissors, and were armed with a 
horrible set of teeth, those in our specimen being as large as the 
largest sharks. The size of the teeth and bones would conflict 
with some of the ideas of modern geologists. Having seen no 
restored specimen to accurately judge by, I could only say that 

Digitized by 


Interesting Fossils 131 

any approach to symmetry would indicate an animal of tremen- 
dous proportions, with bones like steel and armed with hooks 
and flippers, and could fly in the air, climb precipices, hop on 
the ground, and dive and plunge in the water. Such an animal 
would seem like some horrible apparition, enough to vanquish a 
regiment of soldiers. Probably further research would reveal 
wonderful things. Ages ago, before the upheaval, here sported 
on this vast sea antediluvian and prehistoric monsters. There 
are many such banks exposed where the surf roared and the in- 
coming tide deposited these animals. I will incidentally mention 
that Dr. Dunn has a copy of LyelFs Geology, now a very rare 
book and out of print. 

J. E. Dunn. 

Digitized by 



From Miss King*s Scrapbook, 

Cleveland Leader: The only captain of a slave vessel who 
suffered the death penalty in America was captured by a crew 
of which one of the members is now a citizen of Cleveland, the en- 
gineer of the People's Gaslight and Coke Company. 

"The slave ship was the Erie, and it was the last American 
slaver captured," said Mr. Matthews, in talking about the his- 
torical event. "She was taken off the mouth of the Congo in the 
spring of 1861 by the United States sloop of war Mohican. I 
was captain of the foretop and of the starboard watch. The cap- 
ture was accidental; the vessels dealing in slaves would slip out 
at intervals between the patrol beats of the men-of-war, and they 
knew pretty well our habits. But this time the Mohican; was 
delayed two days in waiting for mail, and going from the island 
of Fernandizo we sighted a vessel making from the mouth of the 
Congo. We were flying a French flag. We signaled her to heave 
to, but this request not being regarded, a shot was fired. Then 
she hove to without offering resistance, and a party being sent 
aboard found every one dressed alike. It was thus some days be- 
fore we discovered who was the captain. She was manned by 
fifteen men, and had on board 890 slaves and three slave agents. 
The agents and five Spaniards, who did not wish to claim Amer- 
ican citizenship, were sent away in a trade boat. Eight of the 
slaver's crew were shipped on the Mohican, and the officers and 
two of the crew were brought to America. The slave ship was 
taken to Liberia. 

"The captain of the slaver was Nathaniel Gordon, and a 
year after his capture he was swung on Bedlow's Island, where 
the statue of Liberty now stands. The first mate was sentenc- 
ed to ten years' imprisonment, the second mate received a five 
years' sentence, and the two men were each given a year. 

"The severe dealings with. the officers were due to the in- 
tense feeling on the slavery question, as the war had just broken 
out. The second mate and the two men volunteered to enter the 
army and were allowed to go free. Our lieutenant, Dunnington, 
went into the Confederate navy, after bringing Gordon back. 

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The Last Captured Slaver 133 

"About three months before the experience with the Erie, a 
slaver escaped us by being disguised as a whaler. The simulation 
was very perfect, and on the decks we could see even the boiling 
vats. The captain showed papers which disarmed suspicion, and 
when the 'whaler' put up for the night at the mouth of the Congo 
our captain informed him that next morning he would come 
around on a visit. 

"In the morning he was gone, having taken 1300 slaves 
aboard. We sighted a vessel in the distance, which we pursued, 
and found to be an English man-of-war, also trying to catch the 

Digitized by 




By Henry P. Dart. 

Primarily all titles to land in Louisiana are derived from the 
Sovereign, that is, France, Spain and the United States, but the 
title of the Indians to the land actually occupied by them was al- 
ways recognized by the French and Spanish governors and spe- 
cial rules were established to protect and to regulate sales of such 
land by the Indians. 

The document printed herewith is an unusually interesting 
study of these rules and methods, and it also perpetuates the 
testimony of several surveyors and officials of that period. It is 
possible that the same information may be found in official publi- 
cations but it is gathered here in compact shape and will un- 
doubtedly appeal to a large circle of readers. 

As will be seen from the text it is a copy of a report made 
in April 1815 by the Board of Commissioners appointed by the 
United States to ascertain and to adjust titles and claims to land 
in the Western District of the Territory of Orleans. Its present 
value is purely historical and we are glad of the opportunity to 
print this document, which comes from the private collection of 
Mrs. H. H. Cruzat. 


Reported by Commissioners. 

Opelousas Claims. No. 1. 

Pierre Arceneaux claims one third part of the land lying 
between the Coule d'Aigle and Frederick Mouton's land, being in 
depth 40 arpents. This land was purchased by the said Pierre 
from Frederick Mouton, who purchased from an Indian chief 
of the tribe of Attakapas. The notice of this claim is accom- 
panied by the following documents. 1st: A certified copy of a 
deed of Sale by Achenoya, chief of the Attakapas tribe of Indians, 
vested with power by Jacob Letortue, Jr. and Baptiste (as set 
forth in the said deed of Sale) to Frederick Mouton, for a tract 

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Louisiana Land Titles Derived From Indian Tribes 135 

of land in the quarter called Bayou de Blanc in the County of 
Opelousas, bounded on one side by other land of the purchaser, 
and on the other side by the Coul6 d'Aigle, with the depth of 40 
arpents, for the consideration of 115 dollars ; sale passed 29th July, 
1802 before Honor6 de la Chaise, then acting as Commandant for 
the Post of Opelousas. 2dly : A Sale by the said Frederick Mou- 
ton to the said Pierre Arceneaux, passed the 5th October, 1804 be- 
fore the said Honore de la Chaise, then styling himself "Com- 
mandant for the United States of America" of the Post of Ope- 
lousas, for one third part of the land purchased by the said Mou- 
ton from the Indians, to be taken next to the Coul4 d'Aigle. No 
evidence has been adduced in this claim to establish a title by 
occupancy, it is therefore to be inferred that the claimant relies 
on the validity of the Indian title and presumes the transfer pass- 
ed before the Commandant to be good and sufficient. It may not 
be improper here to inquire whether and how far this case and 
others similarly circumstanced may be affected by the laws of the 
United States, restraining the purchasing of the lands of Indians 
by unauthorized individuals. By an Act of Congress passed the 
30th March, 1802 "for regulating trade and intercourse with the 
Indian triljes and to preserve peace on the Frontiers,'* it is en- 
acted, that no Grant, Lease, or other conveyance of lands, or any 
title, or claim thereto from any Indian, or Nation, or tribe of In- 
dians within the boundaries of the United States, shall be of any 
validity, unless made by treaty or convention made pursuant to 
the Constitution. And it is made a misdemeanor punishable by fine 
and imprisonment for any person not employed under the author- 
ity of the United States to negotiate any treaty, or convention 
with Indians, or treat with them for the title, or purchase of any 
lands held by them (See the 12th Section of the above recited 
Act) The provisions of the Statute above quoted, were by an 
Act of Congress passed the 26th March, 1904, entitled "an Act 
erecting liouisiana into two territories, and — " extended to the 
territories, to take effect from and after the first day of October, 
1804. Anterior to the said first day of October, an Act passed 
the 31st October, 1803 entitled "An Act to enable the President of 
the United States to take possession of the Territories ceded by 
France to the United States and for the temporary Government 
thereof," was to remain in force. By the last mentioned Act, 
neither the right of the Indians to sell, nor of any individual to 
purchase from them has been interdicted, or restrained. No 

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136 The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 

doubts therefore can exist of the Indians within the limits of 
Louisiana having had the same rights to pass Sales of their Lands 
at anj' time previous to the first day of October, 1804, that they 
enjoyed whilst Louisiana continued to be a Colony of Spain. Such 
Sale however could only vest in a purchaser the kind of title 
which the Indians held. It therefore* becomes necessary next, 
to examine the nature and tenure of the Indian title to Land in 
Louisiana. The Spanish functionaries seem to have made a 
distinction between Indians who had partaken of the rights of 
Baptism, and the ordinary tribes, or nations of Indians within 
the limits of Louisiana. The former were denominated "Christian 
Indians," a term usually if not invariably incorporated in the 
body of the instrument, by which their titles to lands were trans- 
ferred to others. These Indians seem to have been considered 
capable of holding and enjoying lands in as full and ample a man- 
ner as any other subjects of the Crown of Spain. That the tenure 
of the title of Lands held by Indians not denominated Christians, 
may be more clearly comprehended and that repetition may be 
avoided in the progress of this report, the^undersigned Commis- 
sioners think it necessary here to insert such extracts, both from 
the testimony adduced and written documents filed in other 
claims held under purchase from Indians as may appear in any 
degree applicable to the one under consideration, to which they 
may find it convenient and useful to make frequent references in 
their remarks on other claims similarly circumstanced. From 
testimony given in the claim of Thomas Nicholson (which will 
be reported among the claims in the County of Attakapas) by 
Lewis C. De Blanc, Esqre. formerly exercising the Office of 
Commandant Civil and Military for the District of Natchitoches 
and afterwards the same Office for the District of Attakapas, 
the following is extracted "The right of the Indians to sell their 
lands always was recognized and admitted by the Spanish Gov- 
ernment." "We always consider the title from the Indians to 
their villages the best of titles, because the original property of 
the soil was in them, and when this country was conquered, the 
laws of the Conquerors were enforced, but the property of the 
Aborigines was held sacred. Hence the difference between the 
titles of Indians and other subjects. The other subjects who 
wanted land must demand and have a written title; it was not 
necessary for the Indians, because they already held a title to the 
land they claimed. Their title originated in first occupancy, cul- 

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Louisiana Land Titles Derived From Indian Tribes 137 

tivation and settlement. The Indians never claimed other Lands 
than their villages, and when they did it was given them by the 
Government. There never was any instance of the Government 
of Spain taking land from the Indians, especially their villages. 
Even when the Indians had abandoned some old villages because 
their hunting was exhausted, and had established new^ ones by 
the Grant of the Spanish Government, their villages deserted 
were always considered as their property, subject to their dis- 
posal and the Inhabitants never suffered to settle there, but where 
always driven off. There was no time fixed in which a Deed 
must be presented for approbation. It could be presented in one ■ 
year, or a hundred years, and it would always receive the Sanction 
of Government. The laws made it necessary when the Indians 
sold their lands to have the Deeds presented to the Governor for 
approbation. This was only a form, as the Governor in all cases 
approved and never refused. The villages of the Indians never 
consisted of less than a league and often two leagues, or more 
in front, and it was the custom of the Spanish Government when- 
ever they granted land to Indians to give them a league, or more 

In the claim of Miller and Fulton for a tract of land on Bayou 
Boeuf in the County of Rapides purchased from Indians, which 
will be reported by the Register and Receiver of this district pur- 
suant to the provisions of an Act of Congress passed the 27th 
February, 1803, will be seen the testimony of Mr. Charles Laveau 
Trudeau many years Surveyor General of the Province of Lou- 
isiana, under the Spanish Government, from which the following 
is extracted. "The Deponent knows of no Ordinances or Regula- 
tions under any Governor of Louisiana, except O'Riley, by which 
the Indians inhabiting lands in the Province were limited in 
their possessions to one league square about their villages, but 
this regulation has not been adhered to by any of his Successors. 
The Deponent knows that the custom was, that when a tribe of 
Indians settled a village by the consent of the Government, that 
the chief fixed the Boundaries, and where there were one, or more 
neighboring villages the respective chiefs of those villages agreed 
upon and fixed the Boundaries between themselves, and when 
any tribe sold out its village the Commandant uniformly made 
the conveyance according to the limits pointed out by the chief. 
The lands claimed by the Indians around their villages, were al- 
ways considered as their own, and they were always protected in 

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138 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

the unmolested enjoyment of it by the Government against all 
the World and has always passed from one generation to another, 
so long as it was possessed by them as their own property. The 
Indians always sell their land with the consent of the Govern- 
ment, and if, after selling their village and the lands around it, 
they should by the permission of the Government establish them- 
selves elsewhere, they might again sell, having first obtained the 
permission of the Government a^id so on as often as such per- 
mission was obtained, and no instance is known where such per- 
mission has ever been refused or withheld. These sales were 
passed before the Commandant of the District and was always 
considered good and valid without any Order from the Comman- 

In the claim of Miller and Fulton for Land on Bayou Boeuf, 
the following is an extract from the testimony of Mr. Valentine 
Laypard late Commandant under the Spanish Government for the 
Post of Rapides. — "The Deponent has never known a smaller 
quantity then a league square of land to be assigned to any one 
Tribe of Indians let their numbers be what they might, and in one 
case, namely, the Apalachie Tribe (a small tribe) a much larger 
quantity than a league square of the first quality and situation on 
Red River was assigned them." (See Rapides Report No. 125) — 
Extract from the testimony of the same person in the claim of 
Miller and Fulton for Land on Red River. The Deponent sayeth 
**that he had been Agent of Indian affairs for many years under 
the Spanish Government for the Post of Rapides ; spoke the Lan- 
guage of the Indians &ca. That in the year 1803 the Apalachie 
and Tensas tribes of Indians came to the Deponent as Indian 
Agent, to inform him of their having sold their land to Miller and 
Fulton and requested him to pass the Sale, that the Deponent 
replied to the Indians, that neither himself, nor they could dispose 
of or convey their Lands without the authority and approbation 
of the Governor of the Province." By referring to the documents 
filed in the claim, it will be seen that application was made to the 
Governor, who gave his written permission for the Chief to sell, 
with the consent of his Nation. See Rapides Report No. 126. 

In the Claim of Patrick Morgan and Daniel Clark for a tract 
of Land in the Attakapas County, which will be reported among 
other claims of the said County, it will be seen that a Mr. Fuse- 
lier de la Clair had purchased from Rinemo, Chief of the Atta- 
kapas village called in French "Lamonier" the said Village and 

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Louisiana Land Titles Derived From Indian Tribes 139 

land depending thereon of two leagues in front from North to 
South, limited on the West by the river Vermillion and on the 
East by the river Teche. This Sale w^s passed in November 1760 
when Louisiana was subject to France, and being executed before 
Mr. Kerleric, then Governor of the Province, is evidence, that the 
consent of the Governor to Sales passed by Indians was at that 
date considered necessary to their validity. About the same 
time that the above Sale was passed, three or four other pur- 
chases were made from the Indians of Attakapas, by which a very 
large proportion of the land of that District, and nearly, or quite 
all of the valuable Lands on the river Teche were embraced. After 
Louisiana had changed Sovereigns and became a Colony of Spain^ 
the Count de O'Riley, the first Governor of the Province under the 
Spanish Monarchy, passed Regulations, or Ordinances by whom 
no Grant for Land in Opelousas, Attakapas, or Natchitoches 
could exceed one League square. It would seem that in some 
cases these regulations were intended to have a retrospective 
operation, for we find that Mr. De la Clair in the year 1770 pe- 
titioned the Governor for a Grant of one league front by a league 
in depth, expressly admitting in his petition that the Sale from 
the Indians "was not sufficient to assure to him the property of 
the said land." On this petition the said Governor O'Riley on the 
2d March, 1770 made what was denominated a Provincial con- 
cession ordering the Surveyor to make out the limits to the peti- 
tioner of a tract of land of one league front by a league in depth. 
In like manner have the other purchasers from Indians been 
reduced to one league square, the surplusage not having been 
considered as reverting to the Indians, but as making a part of the 
Royal Domain which has been granted from time to time as it 
may have been petitioned for by other individuals. 

In the claim of Stephens Lynch (Rapides Reports No. 108) 
it will be seen that Ljmch purchased from the Attorney in fact of 
the Rev. Mr. McGuire, who purchased from Indians and is to be 
entitled to receive nothing in payment from the purchaser, until 
the Sale made by the Indians to McGuire shall have been ratified 
by the Governor. In the same claim, a Document is filed, which 
appears to be a transcript of a judicial investigation and deci- 
sion of the conflicting claims of the said Lynch and a man named 
Carrizan before Cezar Archinard, Alcalde of the District, who has 
decided that Lynch's title is good, provided Carrizan shall not be 
able to produce a prior conveyance from McGuire, or his Attorney 

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140 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

and provided also, that the Sale from the Indians to McGuire 
shall be ratified by the Government. 

In the Claim of Joseph Gillard (Rapides Report No. 57) in 
passing the Sale from the Indians to Collin LaCour, the Com- 
mandant of Natchitoches, before whom it was executed, Louis C. 
DeBlanc, has inserted a condition, making it necessary that the 
Deed shall be presented to the Governor General of the Province 
for his approval and confirmations. 

In the claim of John Lyon for a tract of land on the Bayou 
Queue de Tortue, purchased from, an Indian of the Attakapas 
tribe named Celestine, the Commandant who wrote the Deed of 
Sale and before whom it was executed (Louis C. DeBlanc) has 
included a provision, whereby it was made necessary to present 
the Deed for the approbation of the Governor General of the 
Province. In the foregoing Document strong evidence is per- 
ceived of the general understanding, that the sanction of the 
Governor of the Province, whilst Louisiana continued to be a 
Spanish Colony, was necessary to the validity of all Sales made 
by Indians, other than those denominated Christians, and it 
necessarily results, that titles held under such Sales were in- 
choate until the Sanction was obtained. The Sales by the Indians 
transferred the kind of right which they possessed. The ratifica- 
tion of the sale by the Governor must be regarded as a relin- 
quishment of the title of the Crown in favor of the purchaser. 
May the Indians, on account of being the Aborigines of the Coun- 
try, be considered as having at all times had a right to the unap- 
propriated, or unoccupied Lands, and can their Sales for Lands 
which they did not occupy, be taken as vesting in a purchaser an 
indefeasible title? — It will be noticed that in the extract made 
from the testimony of Mr. DeBlanc there is an assertion, that the 
titles of the Indians, especially to the lands including their vil- 
lages was considered under the Spanish Government as "the best 
of titles" and that this title was held sacred, on account of their 
being the Aborigines of the Country. The same witness has also 
said, that even the villages abandoned by the Indians were after- 
wards regarded as their property and subject to their disposal. 
The undersigned Commissioners do not perceive the orthodoxy of 
these assertions. If the Indian title really possessed the dignity 
which Mr. DeBlanc has assigned to it, a formal extinction of that 
title by treaty, or purchase by the French, or Spanish Govern- 
ment ought to have preceded ajl Grants made by either of these 

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Louisiana Land Titles Derived From Indian Tribes 141 

Governments, because there was not perhaps a spot of the Coun^ 
try susceptible of Settlement which the roving natives had not 
at some past period occupied. It will be observed that in another 
part of his testimony Mr. DeBlanc has insinuated that this 
Country was conquered from the Indians. The inquiries and 
researches of the undersigned however, afford them no evidence 
of any fact which can induce them to consider the Country as 
having been acquired by conquest, on the contrary, the Indians 
seem to have permitted European emigrants to usurp the 
Sovereignty of the Country without making any opposition to 
them, and the rights thus obtained by the Crown of France and 
afterwards transferred to that of Spain has acquired force and 
validity by prescription, has been legitimated by the tacit ac- 
quiescence of the natives in that usurpation. If it should be asked 
what evidence exists of the Law of prescription operating to V 
extinction of the Indian title to Lands in Louisiana, it might be 
replied that the evidence is to be found in the various acts of^ 
the Spanish Government in relation to the Indians, evincing, that 
the Government recognized no title in them independently of that 
derived from the Crown, a mere right of occupancy at the will of 
the Government, else why was the Sanction of the Government 
necessary to all Sales passed by Indians, which may be clearly 
established by a recurrence to written document and the Testi- 
mony of Messrs. Trudeau, De Blanc and Laypard, and why was it 
not necessary to have such sanction of the Sales made by other 
subjects of the Spanish Government. The force and effect of 
prescription in abolishing the Indian title to Lands in Louisiana 
is further established by the Indians permitting themselves to 
be removed from place to place by Governmental authority, by 
their condescending in some cases to ask permission 5f the Gov- 
ernment to sell their lands, and when that permission wasi not 
solicited assenting to the insertion of a clause in the Deeds of 
Sale, expressly admitting that their Sales could be of no validity 
without the ratification of the Governor. "There was no time 
fixed" (says Mr. DeBlanc in another part of his testimony) "in 
which a Deed must be presented for approbation, it might b# 
presented in one year, or an hundred years and would always 
receive the Sanction of the Government. Would it not be a 
very preposterous regulation under any form of Government, 
and very unlikely to have existence under a Monarchial one, that 
should require the acts of an inferior to be submitted to a su-^ 

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142 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

perior Officer for his scrutiny and approbation and at fhe same 
time deny to such superior the right of rejection? That there- 
fore, the Governors of the Spanish Colony of Louisiana had tiie 

right, not only of rejecting Indian Sales, but of actually annihilat- 
ing them it is conceived will not be denied, nor is at all probable 
that the Governors either, would always sanction, or have always 
sanctioned such Sales. Let it be remembered, that in the whole 
extent of the Western District there are not more than three 
out of the many Sales made by Indians since Louisiana became a 
Colony of Spain, which are known to have received the Gov- 
ernmental sanction. And let it be known also, that a Sale that 
may have been rejected by any Governor, would not have been 
exhibited to the Board of Commissioners as evidence of Title. 
Therefore, altho' the Board of Commissioners have no means of 
producing: any proof of the rejection of any Indian Sale, it does 
not lollow that none have been rejected. The practice by Gov- 
ernor (.) Riley ol* reducing the quantity of land embraced by Sales, 
which had been made by Indians, under the Sanction of the Gov- 
ernment when Louisiana was a Colony of France was much 
more arbitrary. But if it could be established, that no Indian 
Sale was ever rejected by the Spanish Government, this would 
only prove that none had been presented but such as were ad- 
missible. Not that a case might not occur which would demand 
the exercise of the Governors negative. Suppose for example a 
Sale from the Opelousas Indians, at a time when that tribe had 
dwindled down to not more than twenty persons, which should 
embrace half the unoccupied Land in the County of Opelousas; 
can it be imagined that such a Sale would not have been rejected 
by any Governor of Louisiana? Many of the Sales from the Atta- 
kapas Indians were obtained about the time of the change of 
Government by which Louisiana was transferred to the United 
States, some of them subsequent to that change and at a time 
when it is known from good information, that those Indians were 
reduced to one single village, the inhabitants of which were short 
of one hundred. In some cases as will appear by the subjoined 
Schedule of Indian Sales, six, or eight distinct tracts of land have 
been sold by the same individual Indians. Is it not probable, that 
if Sales had been passed under circumstances such as are stated 
above, before the Change of Government, or prospect of such 
a change they would have been rejected? Although no time may 
have been prescribed within which the Sales of Indians were to 

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Louisiana Land Titles Derived From Indian Tribes 143 

have been presented for ratification, the purchasers could not 
have been ignorant, that the regulations required that they should 
be presented at some time for ratification, because the condition 
was generally expressed on the face of the Deed, and therf ore 
they must have known that their titles were incomplete at all 
times before the ratification. The undersigned Commissioners 
are of opinion, that there is a wide difference between the titles 
of such persons as have purchased lands from Indians which such 
Indians were actually occupying at the date of their Sales, and the 
titles and claims of persons who purchased from Indians not in 
the actual occupancy of the land at the date of their Sales. Pur- 
chasers of the first description, although the Deeds of transfer 
may not have been presented and of course could not have receiv- 
ed the Governmental Sanction, may be considered as having ex- 
tinguished the kind of title which the Indians enjoyed, and are 
therefore in the opinion of the Commissioners equitably entitled 
to so much at least of the land claimed as would be a full in- 
demnity for the consideration paid for it. Purchasers of the 
second description would not, in the opinion of the Board, be 
entitled to any remuneration, because it is conceived, the Indians 
in such cases were selling a thing to which they had no kind of 
title. The investigation of claims for lands purchased from In- 
dians seem to have brought into view four distinct classes — 
first, claims for lands purchased from Indians denominated 
Christians, whose Sales are generally for small tracts, of such ex- 
tent as an Indian and his family might be supposed capable of 
cultivating, passed before the proper Spanish Officer and duly 
filed of Record, these Sales are believed to have been valid, by the 
usages of the Spanish Government without ratification being 
necessary. Secondly, claims for lands purchasied from some 
tribe, or chief of some tribe of Indians, the Sales of which may 
have been ratified by the Governor of the Province. These are 
also considered as valid. The Indian sale transferring their right. 
The ratification by the Governor being regarded as a relinguish- 
ment in favor of the purchaser of the right of the Crown. Thirdly, 
claims for lands purchased from Indians of the description last 
mentioned, who from the evidence adduced before the Board 
shall appear to have been in the actual occupancy of the land at 
the date of the Sale, but whose deeds of Sale may not have been 
presented for the ratification of the Governor* In this case the 
Indians are considered as having transferred only the right of oc- 

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144 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

cupancy which they held at the will of the Government, the title 
is incomplete, but the purchaser supposed to have an equitable 
claim for the confirmation of his title to so much of the land 
claimed as would be a full indemnity for the consideration he may 
have paid. Fourth and lastly, claims for lands sold by Indians of 
the last description, who did not occupy them at the date of their 
Sales and whose Sales have not been ratified by any Governor of 
Louisiana. Such Sales are considered as vesting no title in the 
purchasers (unless accompanied by some equitable circumstance 
in their favor) and in the Opinion of the Board of Commissioners 
ought not to be confirmed. Of this last class is the claim at pres- 
ent under consideration, unattended by any circumstances known 
to the Board of Commissioners, which might entitle it to a con- 

Land Office at OpelOusas. 
State of Louisiana, 27 January, 1826. 
I do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and cor- 
rect copy of the original filed and of Record in my Office, 
reported by the Board of Commissioners appointed for 
the purpose of ascertaining and adjusting titles and 
claims to lands in the Western District of the Territory 
of Orleans, now State of Louisiana, in their report of claims 
for the County of Opelousas on the 6th of April, 1815 to 
the Honorable Albert Galatin, Secretary of the Treasury of 
the United States. And I do hereby further certify that 
the same has been acted upon and approved by Act of Con- 
gress passed the 29th day of April in the year 1816. 

Given under my hand and private seal, at my 
Office aforesaid, the day & year aforesaid. 
(L. S.) (sig.) Valentine King. 


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Lt^. 5.0.0 OS'S 

The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No. 2 April, 1921 

Mazureau's Oration an Mathews. 

George Mathews — President of the 
Supreme Court of Louisiana. 

Discourse on the Life and Character 
of the Hon. George Mathews. 

Fire Protection in New Orleans in 
Unzaga's Time. 

The Oath of Allegiance to Spain. 

Cabildo Archives — French Period, 
No. IX. 

Records of the Superior Council of 

Published May, 1922 

Published Quarterly by 



Digitized by 


Digitized by 


The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No. 2 

April, 1921 

Entered to the second claae mail matter June 6, 1917, ac the pott-oflficelat New Orleans, La., 
under Act ot August 24, 1912. 

Subacriftion S2.(X) per annum, payable in advance. . Address, Louisiana Historical Quarterly. 
Cabildo, New Orleans, La. 

RamireS'Jones Printing Co. 
Baton Rouge, La. 

Digitized by 






JOHN DYMOND, First Vice-President. 

BUSSIERE ROUEN, Second Vice-President. 

HENRY RENSHAW, Third Vice-President. 

W. O. HART, Treasurer. 

HENRY P. DART, Archivist. 

MISS GRACE KING, Recording Secretary. 

MRS. HELOISE HULSE CRUZAT, Corresponding Secretary. 

Executive Committee 

John Dymond, Chairman; Caspar Cusachs, Bussiere Rouen, Henry Renshaw, 
W. O. Hart, Henry P. Dart, Miss Grace King and Mrs. Heloise Hulse Cruzat. 

Editor Historical Quarterly 

JOHN DYMOND. CabUdo. New Orleans. 

Digitized by 


Table of Contents 

Volume 4« No. 2 April, 1921 

Mazureau's Oration on Mathews 149 

George Mathews — President of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. . 154 

Discourse on the Life and Character of the Hon. George Ma-thews . . 189 

Fire Protection in New Orleans in Unzaga's Time 201 

The Oath of Allegiance to Spain 205 

Cablldo Archives— French Period— IX 21« 

Recorder of the Superior Council of Louisiana 218 

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The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No. 2 April, 1921 


By Henry PlaucM Dart. 

We print in this issue a translation of Etienne Mazureau's 
"Panegyric of George Mathews," delivered in French in New Or- 
leans in January 1837, shortly after the death of Judge Mathews. 
This curious and interesting contribution to the literature of that 
day was never translated into English. Mrs. H. H. Cruzat's pres- 
ent translation is spirited and very true to the original. The only 
existing French copy that has fallen under the writer's observa- 
tion is that contained in 1st White's New Recopilacion, 678, 
printed in 1839 ; and White's book is almost as inaccessible as the 
address which it perpetuates. At the period of this address 
(1837) Louisiana had settled most of the great legal problems 
that arose out of the difference between her ancient legal system 
and that of the other states of the Union, and Etienne Mazureau 
had taken considerable part in this settlement. A native of 
France, he came to Louisiana in 1801, young in years but ripe in 
political experience because he had suffered for his opinions be- 
fore Napoleon became emperor, and in his own words, in the ad- 
dress which we are now publishing he "fled from the despotism 
of the greatest Captain of modern times." His picture in the 
Supreme Court portrait gallery in the New Court House at New 
Orleans gives us an idea of Mr. Mazureau which is sustained by 
the legends of that period. It shows a certain charm and grace 
of manner that does not, however, conceal the strength of char- 
acter and fiery zeal which filled his soul. 

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150 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Very early in his career Governor Claiborne offered him a 
place on the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans, which he 
declined and later he succeeded Martin as Attorney General in 
1813, immediately after Lousiana was admitted to the Union. His 
career thereafter was strictly contemporary with the develop- 
ment of civil life in Louisiana after the cession. To the modem 
Louisiana lawyer the principal value of the "panegyric" is the in- 
timate knowledge which it gives us of contemporary sentiment 
and of the passions provoked by the changes made in our legal 
system through the Digest of the Civil Law of 1808 and the Civil 
Code of 1825. Our Court reports and general history makes little 
or no mention of the controversy here presented, and we are sure 
it will have to the majority of students an element of novelty and 
interest. As we gather from the panegyric it was contended in 
1808 that public policy required that the French and Spanish laws 
in force at the time of the cession of 1803 should be "translated 
by legislative authority to serve as a sort of common law for Lou- 
isiana, to be developed in due course by the legislature and the 
courts after the method in which the common law of England and 
the United States was created and developed. Mr. Mazureau says 
this was the opinion of Judge Mathews, and he evidently held the 
same view himself. There is support for it in the statute under 
which the legislature authorized the compilation of the civil laws 
in force in Louisiana in 1808, and it is also true that the courts 
thereafter held that the work was not a code but a digest of such 
laws. It was under this construction that the Supreme Court per- 
mitted reference, and, indeed, insisted upon a reference to the 
Spanish and French laws prior to 1808 to interpret the Digest and 
even to supply omissions therein. 

So far, then, it would appear that we have from Mazureau's 
pen a contemporary view of the intentions of some of the Louis- 
iana lawyers and judges in regard to the Spanish and French 
system, and one would be inclined to say that this contention was 
sustained by the very form in which the Digest was cast. But 
the theory did not work out in practice as perfectly as it appeared 
when considered theoretically, and the Civil Code of 1825 was un- 
questionably designed to have an end of these foreign laws; to 
substitute, in short, a code as a beginning of a new system. It 
would appear also that this was the parting of the ways between 
the old school and the new, and Mr. Mazureau's panegyric is a 

Digitized by 


Mazureau's Oration on Mathews 151 

very interesting reminiscence of the contest over the attempt 
at code making which ended adversely to his views in 1825, and 
it is worthy of perpetuation from that point of view. 

Our comment does not exhaust all the points presented by 
this document, but before turning to others we should notice 
the construction of the oration, which is a fine example of a 
type that has somewhat lost its vogue among us. Here Mathews 
is the text which the speaker departs from and returns to with 
skill and art, distributing on the way a fund of local knowledge 
and a store of information, and a variety of opinion on many 
subjects, only distantly related to the text, and yet always 
presented in a way to keep in hand the thread of the discourse, 
however attenuated. The method shows, we may add, the char- 
acteristics of that period of public speaking, when if was not un- 
common, so we are told, for the orator to hold his audience for 
hours under a thrall. In the quiet of an evening off the reading 
of this particular oration may now let us into the secret of the 
orator's art and skill, which apparently has passed away from 
the present generation. 

The "panegyric" is further valuable for its local color and 
intimate details concerning the people, the courts, and the events 
of the first quarter century of life in Louisiana, and cannot fail 
on this side to be useful to the historical student. 

The eulogy of Mazureau and the "discourse" by Mr. Watts 
printed herewith has preserved for us the history of a very great 
judge who filled a large part in the legal life of Louisiana, and 
this introduction needs only a few additional words to complete 
the story as told in the two orations. Judge Mathews was a 
Georgian, appointed by President Jefferson as one of the three 
judges of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans, and he 
began his judicial career on that bench in New Orleans in May 
1806. His colleague was John B. Prevost of New York, who 
had been sole judge up to that period and who retired in the 
succeeding year, 1807. William Sprigg was appointed contem- 
poraneously with Mathews and retired in 1808. Under these 
conditions Mathews became, in 1807, the President or Presiding 
Judge of the Superior Court, and when that court was abolished 
upon the formation of the Constitution of 1812 and the ad- 
mission of Louisiana into the Union, Judge Mathews was ap- 

Digitized by 


152 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

pointed by Governor Claiborne to the Supreme Court of Louis- 
iana, a bench of three judges, namely Dominick A. Hall, Presid- 
ing Judge, George Mathews and Pierre Derbigny, associate 
judges. Judge Hall retired after a short service, and in 1813 
Mathews became the President of the Supreme Court or Presid- 
ing Judge, as it is variously called, for they did not use the title 
of Chief Justice until 1845. Martin became a member of the 
court in 1815 and only became presiding judge on the death of 
Judge Mathews in 1836, and notwithstanding he is often re- 
ferred to as the Chief Justice of Louisiana he never did, in fact, 
have that title, which was established after Judge Martin had 
retired from the bench on the adoption of the Constitution of 
1845. The long service of Judge Mathews, more than thirty 
years, necessarily made him contemporaneously an outstanding 
figure in our history because those courts (the Superior Court 
of ' the territory and the Supreme Coutt of Louisiana) played 
a very essential part in establishing bur law upon the basis of 
the Civil rather than the common law. Mazureau tells in his 
address the story of two great efforts made in the Superior Court 
of the Territory of Orleans, first before Prevost sitting alone, 
and afterwards when Mathews came on the bench, to settle the 
controversy in favor of the Common Law, on the theory that 
Louisiana's legal system necessarily followed the legal system 
of the United States as recognized in the Ordinance of 1787 
covering the Northwest Territory which formed a part of the 
law governing Louisiana under the Congressional legislation. 

Judge Mathews' picture in the Supreme Court gallery bears 
out Mr. Mazureau's eloquent description of his character, "a 
rotund figure of even temper and placid and genial characteris- 
tics." His fame in these later years of our legal life is some- 
what obscured by that of his great colleague. Judge Martin, but 
no one who understands the operation of judicial machinery can 
doubt that Martin's fame would not be what it is had he not had 
alongside of him on the bench this well balanced American law- 
yer, deeply versed in the traditions of the common law but also 
a great admirer of the civil law, which system he studied at its 
sources, and to which he always turned for light and guidance. 
The reputation of Mazureau during his lifetime as an able and 
fearless lawyer and as a sound thinker was perpetuated by his 
contemporaries and by his immediate successors. When the 

Digitized by 


Mazureau's Oration on Mathews 153 

writer began to read law some fifty years ago the name of Maz- 
ureau was of equal dignity with the other giants of that earlier 
period, and the law offices were full of stories of his cases and 
methods. In short, he was then and he is now one of the his- 
torical characters of Louisiana. This "panegyric" which we 
here translate and reproduce made a great contemporary impres- 
sion. I cannot remember ever seeing a copy of it in my younger 
days but it was often referred to and always with respect and 
admiration, and it is really a good idea to revive before the people 
of this generation the memory of these two men, this great 
lawyer and equally great judge of the early part. of the last 
century. , 

See for a more extended accouht of the Superior Oourt ahd the £3ariler 

History of, the Supreme Court, thje Centenary proeeedinKS in, 131,^. 4 La. His- 
torical Quarterly pp. 16-37 (Jany., 1921). 

Digitized by 



Panegyric Delivered January, 1837, by Etienne Mazureau, Attor- 
ney General, and Dean of the Bar, by Virtue of a 
Resolution Adopted at New Orleans by 
His Fellow Members Assembled 
Nov. 16, 1836- (•) 

Gentlemen and esteemed fellow members: 

Among our European ancestors, not so long ago, at the death 
of a prince or of the great, whom their birth-right placed at tlie 
head of nations, an antique custom demanded that, even though 
history, faithful to its mission, carved for them pages hardly 
fit to recommend them to the respect of future generations, they 
be eulogized by great orators in highly eloquent panegyrics, as 
demi-gods whose short course on earth had been marked only 
by heroic deeds and benefits worthy of the admiration and grat- 
itude of men. There, the simple magistrate appointed to the ad- 
ministration of justice, whatsoever right he might have acquired 

♦EDITORIAL NOTE: Translated by Mrs. H. H. Cruzat from the French 
original as published in 1 Whites' "New Recopilacion" pp. 673-701. Philadelphia, 
1839, under the title, "PaneyKyrique de L'Honorable George Mathews, Presrtdent 
de la Cour Supreme de L'Etat de la L.ouislane, Prononc6 le — Janvier 1837, par 
Etienne Mazureau, Avocat G^n^ral et Doyen du Barreau, En Vertu d'une Re- 
solution adoptee a la Nouvelle-Orleans par ses confreres assembles le 16 
Novembre, 1836." There is nothing to indicate where the address was de- 
livered. The proceedings of the Bar Meeting published in 10th Louisiana Re- 
ports, p. iv., show that. In addition to the formal Resolution of sympathy a 
special request was made that Mr. Mazureau and Judge Charles Watts, of 
the First Judicial District Court of New Orleans, prepare and deliver at their 
convenience public orations upon the distinguished decedent. Judge Watts* 
"discourse" is printed following the minutes of the Bar Meeting, 10th Louis- 
iana Reports, pp. iii. xv., but Mr. Mazureau'af is not included therein, though 
it is certain the two addresses were delivered contemporaneously. It 
is likely that its length precluded its publication in the official report. Mr. 
White, in a brief note or preface to the reproduction of the French original in 
the "New Recopilacion", gives no information on the point, but in the Introduc- 
tion to the main work, Volume 1, p. XIV., he states that he obtained the manu- 
script from Mazureau himself. We have, therefore, two views of Judge 
Mathews presented by these two distinguished members of the bar, and we 
are inclined to think that they may be classified as representing two distinct 
views of the man, one Judge Watts', from the English speaking bar (or Amer- 
ican lawyers as they were then called), and the other from the Creole or 
French speaking bar. In the interest of historical truth we think both ad- 
dresses should now be presented together, and we follow the translation of 
Mr. Mazureau's by JTudge Watts' "discourse." 

The foot notes to each oration are those that appear in the original, and 
where we have made any additions they are placed in brackets. See also Mr. 
Darts' article in this is'sue of the Quarterly on Mazureau's Oration on Mathews. 

Digitized by 


George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 155 

to the esteem and love of his contemporaries, whatsoever fine 
and sublime examples he may have left to be followed for the 
happiness of society, could only go down to the tomb ignored and 
unnoticed, except by those who inhabited the circumscribed place 
where he had exercised his illustrious functions. Custom for- 
bade that fame should elsewhere publish his virtues or his ser- 
vices, or that he be the subject of a f unreal oration destined 
to perpetuate his memory. Considered as the creature or in- 
strument of the prince, of a Lord High Judge, he had no striking 
personal merit, to these were attributed the love and respect that 
he had known how to inspire for justice and for the laws, as well 
as the union and concord which his wisdom had caused to reign 
in his country. These masters of the people were the heirs of 
his glory. They received as a legitimate tribute the praises and 
homages due solely to his virtues and to his examplary conduct. 

Amongst us. Gentlemen, it is fortunately not thus. Amongst 
us the virtues and vices, the good and bad actions of individuals, 
whoever they be, are entirely personal; the merit or the blame 
belongs to them exclusively. The highest in the exercise of power 
is not and cannot be, before the whole of society, else but a crea- 
ture of the law, a proxy accountable for all his acts to the people, 
his sovereign sole source of all authority and of all legitimate 
power. We honor him when he is worthy of praise and he is 
consigned to oblivion when he has not justified the confidence 
vested in him; and the merits, the services and the virtues of 
no other functionary could make him live in our memory, nor 
serve as a passport towards posterity. 

Therefore, Gentlemen and fellow members, without hypo- 
bole, we may say that the assembly which you,- in this moment 
constitute, is truly edifying, if we compare it to those pompous 
ceremonies to those brilliant obligatory concourses of superb cour- 
tiers, where, using the expression of a celebrated writer, "An 
orator whom no one believed, speaking of virtues in which he dfB 
not more believe, endeavored for a moment to be impassioned for 
that which was sometimes contemptible to the public and to him- 
self, harmoniously heaping up mercenary lies, praising the dead 
at length in order to be himself lauded or recompensed by the 

Assembled in this hall by your will alone, you have but one 
desire, to render a just homage to truth, to acquit, as much as 

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156 The Louisiana HistpricalQiiarterly 

it is in us to do so, a sacred debt, in honoring the memory of a 
good citizen who served his country with zeal, whom you have 
all known, whom you have all been in position to appreciate, 
who, whilst exercising in your midst the thorny duties, the deli- 
cate functions of the magistracy during a third of a century, 
fecund in events the influence of which left a strong imprint on 
men, on their morals and their fortunes, must necessarily have 
displeased more than one Jitigant, hurt the self love and frus- 
trated the expectations of many amongst us, and who, notwith- 
standing, has carried to the tomb our esteeip and the well de- 
served regrets of all honest, folks and of all good citizen^. There 
is here wanting, gentlemen,, for the fulfilment of your views, but 
an eloquent tongue to recqrd with accuracy the distinguished 
qualities and the rare merit of their virtuous magistrate, as 
we,ll as. the impprtant services he rendered to the State. 

... On hearing these last wor^s, dejgn not to. accuse me of the pu- 
erile intention of hiding, uncjer the veil of feigned modesty, confi- 
dence which, if ypunger, I might have had in my own. strength. 
Having reached the age of sixty, and after having devoted almost 
tw(/ thirds of my. existence, to the defense of litigious . rights, 
rarely susceptible of inspiring fine oratory, and often capable of 
chilling the most poetic imagination, I could not truly be weak 
enough to believe myself endowed with the talent or the elo- 
quence required to acquit myself honorably in the panegyric of 
an illustrious man. 

I felt it, Gentlemen and fellow members, when (probably to 
show me deference as your dean) you appointed me to be one of 
the interpretors of your sentiments towards the excellent Judge 
whose loss we deplore ; and you may recall that it was only after 
much hesitancy that I decided to accept this honorable task, 
which my weakness dreaded, but which I would eagerly hive 
sought, had it been less imposing or more analogous to the tal- 
ents which nature may have bestowed on me, or to those which 
I have had occasion to cultivate in the exercise of our profei^ 

I still feel at this moment. Gentlemen, and however disposed 
you may be to treat me with indulgence, I shall not dissimulate 
that the uneasiness of my self love is far from being dispelled. 
But, having witnessed during thirty years the distinction with 
which honorable George Mathews fulfilled the duties of his place, 

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George Mat%'^i)(}»^Pf'e^ytifthe'Swprem\^ Gimrt of La. 167 

as ^Vfel^AS the ntiirierous'vidSSitttdeS'Whidh dvillegislfetion under^ 
went' fn thit I6ng"t>^rt6d5' dh atl^ntive "Mid often altoniedf/ofc- 
servef of the dkhgets ' which love ' of innovatiofir ' awatinually 
stret^ed on his way^andon thatof his worthy- collea^eB; imbued, 
as I 'Am, with the knowledge of the important services which 'Lou- 
isiana owes to his rare Impartiality and- his exieellent judgment, 
to his persevering zeal for justice; if I have been bound not to 
dream of delivering one of those brilliant discourses that charm 
by the grace of style and the richness of elocution, one of those 
panegyrics in conformity to the laws of style, in which the en- 
thusiastic and fecund imagination of the orator exercises and 
nobly displays its treasures, in the interest of his own glory as 
much as in the interest and glory of his hero ; I would be wanting 
in sincerity if I did not acknowledge that, a plain narrator, I 
hope to interest you by recalling some of the claims this justly 
regretted magistrate established, by his conduct and his doc- 
trines, to the respect and gratitude of every good citizen of 
Louisiana. Moreover, gentlemen, may the considerations fol- 
lowing from the facts which I shall endeavor to group, and a few 
truths that some of you will hear for the first time, have the 
twofold result of Stimulating fine souls who are inclined to fol- 
low the footsteps of this illustrious public functionary, and to 
incite some functionaries of the state, who, I fear, are indiffer- 
ent to what does not carry with it a tangible reward, to strive 
to avoid censure from their contemporaries, or the brand of 
reprobatory silence by posterity. Such is my sole wish at this 
moment, and if it be not sterile, I shall believe that I have not 
failed in the task which it has pleased you to assign to me. 

The Hon. George Mathews owed his birth to honest and re- 
spectable parents, residents of Virginia that has become so justly 
celebrated for the brilliant constellation of great men she gave 
the republic. His mother, a few months gone with child, at the 
time of the memorable expedition which terminated the battle 
at the mouth of the great "Kanawah", brought him into the 
world on the 30th of September 1774, in Augusta County, whilst 
his father, in this expedition, was exposing his life for the de- 
fense of his country, and was attracting notice by his unusual 
courage, admirable presence of mind and surprising correctness 
of foresight, which in a short time caused his companions in 
arms to attribute to him the most prominent part and in some 

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158 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

sort, the whole glory of that splendid day, famous day, which 
showed what the heroic valor of civilized man, fighting to pro- 
tect a cherished family and to save a field cultivated by his 
hands, can do against savage hordes who only know how to 
destroy, and who have no other enjoyment than carnage. 
From the moment of his birth to the age of ten years, his mother 
whom they loved to distinguish among her virtuous companions 
for superiority of mind and excellent judgment, and for the 
most amiable qualities of heart, took full charge of his education. 
Continuously in the services of his country, his father who sel- 
dom had the happiness of pressing him to his bosom, trusted and 
fully relied on that beloved wife, convinced that she could not 
fail to inculcate lessons that would one day make their cherished 
son a useful man to his country. And, to what better hands 
could a father intrust the task of awakening in the heart of th^ 
young child of his chaste love, principles of honor and virtue? 
Do not women, to the highest degree, possess the art of inspiring 
to early childhood a taste for the greatest and noblest things? 

Deprived, by death, of the lessons and examples of his excel- 
lent father at the early age of ten or eleven years, was not the 
immortal Washington raised by the woman who had carried him 
in her chaste womb.' Was he not indebted to the tender care 
and constant sollicitude of that model of mothers for the fine 
sentiments and austere patriotic virtues which distinguished 
him in every circumstance of his noble life, and imprinted on him 
that indelible stamp of true greatness which caused him to be 
proclaimed: "The first in war, the first in peace and the first 
in the hearts of his fellow citizens.^' 

How many men have appeared with eminence on the vast 
scene of the world who probably would have lived and died ig- 
nored had they not had as a Mentor of their youth that sex 
worthy of all our respect as well as of our best affections, unit- 
ing as it does exquisite sensibility of heart to the irresistable 
charms of beauty, vivacity of mind and a profound sentiment 
of proprieties; and that the Eternal created after our own only 
because in His infinite wisdom He reserved His most interesting 
work to crown and embellish the whole of nature! 

In 1785 Mr. George Mathews' father, left Virginia with his 
whole family, to take up his residence in Georgia, in the coun- 
ty which was then called Wilkes, and which has since become 

Digitized by 


George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 169 

Oglethorpe. The son, at that time was only eleven years old. 
The place where he resided until 1792, offered, as the other 
frontier countries, scanty resources for the instruction of youth. 
His parents however sent him to the schools opened there, and 
there, under their eyes, he continued the respectable studies, in 
which his mother had prepared him and which she never ceased 
to watch over. 

On his return to Virginia, in 1794, he entered the academy 
known as Liberty Hall, in the city of Lexington, in Rock-Bridge 
county, where, in the course of the following year, he terminated 
his classical studies under the best professors of the time, and 
in 1796, he rejoined his family in Georgia. The welcome ex- 
tended to him by his excellent parents when they again saw him, 
was such as a loving and respectful son, who had fulfilled all 
their expectations might desire. Sensible and obliging, his only 
joy and his only happiness were to deserve by his good conduct 
and delicacy of behavior, the love of which they gave continual 
proofs, and their will was a law with which he promptly com- 

In early years he had had a decided inclination to the study 
of medical sciences. The exquisite goodness of his heart per- 
suaded him that in this fine profession he would, more than 
others, be able to" be useful to humanity; but his respectable 
father with the extreme sagacity and solid judgment, which he 
evinced in all circumstances, persuaded him that he was mistaken 
on his real vocation, insisted on his turning his views towards the 
Bar and make up his mind to give himself up to the study of 

Barring this remarkable incident, though simple in itself, the 
United States would probably have numbered George Mathews' 
son among the celebrated physicians for that worthy citizen, that 
estimable magistrate, amidst his numerous labors never ceased 
showing a special taste for the art of curing, and a real aptitude 
to exercise it with success. But if in pursuance of his own 
inclination he had become a Doctor of medicine, Louisiana would 
not have had the honor to number him amongst her best judges. 
It was then in conforming with his father's wishes that in 1T96 
he began under John Mathews, his elder brother, the study of 
law, and two years later he went to Augusta, where, under the 
direction of George Walker, one of the most eminent lawyers of 

Digitized by 


Georgia* he, cwtin^^.d hj^s Jeg^J, st^di^s^, Su<?h yjras the,^r,dor l?e 
brough.tjto,1;heijn,aj^.t^he jfeciljty, ,with wbjch bis. f:^re int?Uigei>ee 
ov^rcamp all di^cijltie^ thflt iix ^7^? ^^ ^^^ adni,itteif^ to the Bar, 
and in ^ short ti?ne,.vaa, esteemed for his skill as well as for the 
gentleness of his. manners and, the purity of his principles., It 
wag there that in 1805, exclygively applied to the cares of his 
profession, he was distinguished by the illustrious Thomas Jef- 
ferson, who, without his expecting it, appointed him Judge of the 
Superior Court of the Territory of Mississippi. Such a tribute 
offered by such a man to the virtues and knowledge of a young 
civilian, is, without contradicti9n, the highest praise that may 
be bestowed on him. 

It was a fine time, Gentlemen, when the functions of magis- 
tracy were thus offered to merit ! There were then many more 
to fill than indefatigable solicitors to provide. If knowledge had 
not made all the progress of which our brilliant epoch glorifies 
itself, one learned, one studied long in order to be proficient; 
after having learned one was but more modest ; they avoided cut- 
ting questions short, and posing as learned, they distrusted them- 
selves and dreaded responsibility. On the other side they were 
less opulent, and the son did not blush in exercising the useful 
trade of his estimable father. Gold and power did not dispense 
of all merit, did not inflame ambitions ; but were we less happy, 
less estimable, less free, less republican? 

At this same period and since the end of 1804, the territory of 
Orleans was organized. Its charter was that of 1T87, made for 
the territory situated northwest of the Ohio. By virtue of this 
ordinance which put an end to the dictatorship of an American 
governor provisionally invested with the powers of a captain 
general of a Spanish colony, and who had bravely put himself 
up as a legislator. (1) A tribunal decorated with the title of 
Superior Court was established at New Orleans. A single 
judge, instead of three of which it was composed, rendered jus- 
tice. That judge was the Hon. John B. Prevost, a magistrate 
as commendable for his knowledge as seducing by the beauty 

(1) William C. C. Claiborne, sent here with hi^ immense powers, did not 
limit himself to administering according to law, of which, by reason of his 
powers, he knew little or nothing at all. He made, under the title of ordS 
nances, laws by which he created first a Court of Common Pleas, then the 
Bank of Louisiana. Never would a captain general have thus dared exercise 
the sovereign power. We do not arraign this honest man. He went too far, 
but what navigator who, cast upon the ocean without compass, without charts, 
without instruments, could conduct his ship to port without accident? 

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George Mathews-^Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 161 

of his person and his gentle and polite manners, who, until 1806, 
to the satisfaction of the Bar and of the whole of society, fulfilled 
tne numerous and difficult functions of civil and criminal judge 
of last resort. This man justly respected as long as he inhabited 
this country, died a few years after whilst fulfilling a diplomatic 
mission in South America, amongst a nation who called them- 
selves christians because they had been baptized, and republi- 
can because they had sundered the ties which previously bound 
it to antique Spain ; but who was as incapable of understanding 
and practicing the divine precepts of charity taught by the Gospel 
as it is still at this day incapable of governing itself by the prin- 
ciples of a wise liberty. Ah! If from the sublime regions 
where the Eternal has His throne, John B. Prevost, (that estim- 
able magistrate to whom Louisiana on more than one score owes 
gratitude) may hear my weak words, he will do me the justice to 
think, that if it depended solely on me to avenge the outrage to 
his corpse by the fanatics among whom he breathed his last 
breath, their odious names would go down to posterity branded 
and execrated! The barbarians! To refuse sepulture to a man, 
to a Christian, to the representative of a friendly nation, because 
he did not adore the Eternal in the same manner as they I 

Honorable George Mathews exercised the functions of judge 
of the Territory of Mississippi until the year of 1806. It would 
be difficult to deny the claims he. acquired to public esteem and 
confidence, when one recalls that he left this place only to occupy 
another, by virtue of a new commission of the same President 
Jefferson, at the side of John B. Prevost, who remained Presi- 
dent, and of William Sprigg, who has just been appointed. 

He arrived among us on May, 1806, and on the 19th of this 
month, after having been sworn in, took possession of the place 
before a large audience whose faces expressed the confidence 
which his open and frank countenance inspired. 

Shall I say that however satisfied the people might have been 
with the wisdom of the magistrate who had presided over our 
Superior Court, they appeared still more confident over the 
future. This feeling was dissimulated by none, though it was 
generally acknowledged that John B. Prevost's conduct had 
proven the axiom: "Sole judge, Iniquitous judge," taken from 
the nations otherwise governed to be untruthful in such a coun- 
try as ours, ruled by written laws, endowed with that fine insti- 

Digitized by 


162 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

tution, the jury, and placed under the safeguard of publicity. 1 
cannot but mention though the deportment and outward appear- 
ance of the judges who, until then, had occupied the bench, was 
always respectable; the citizens thought that the appearance of 
Honorable George Mathews gave a more imposing aspect to the 
Court. Now, this opinion became, in some sort, another se- 
curity for public order, as well as a new source of confidence 
and security for litigants, and man in all countries is such that 
what at first sight pleases the eyes generally produces a favor- 
able impression on his mind; and that he naturally associates 
ideas of probity and delicacy with all that breathes cleanliness, 
decency and dignity. Observation teaches us that the public 
man who is careless of his carriage and external appearance, by 
this alone, often compromises the respect with which it is ad- 
vantageous that he be encompassed. It is even evident that a 
great reputation for talents, wisdom and integrity is not suffi- 
cient to counterbalance this fault or to allow it to be forgiven. 
In all places, it is the lesser number who abstain from judging 
the tree otherwise than by its fruits; the masses always less 
wise, or less enlightened everywhere stop at the bark. 

Almost as soon as he arrived amongst us. Honorable George 
Mathews, as penetrated as any with the holiness of his duties, 
discovered all the difficulty of the task before him. That he 
had made his classical studies, that consequently the language of 
Justinian was not new to him, that he had studied law, and that 
the science of justice and injustice found in him a tried adept, 
he felt that French, which all Louisianians spoke, that Spanish 
in which all the civil laws of the country were written, demanded 
new studies of him. 

Such was his prompt determination on the subject, and, 
above all, such was his admirable aptitude at learning, that, in 
a short time, his ear became familiar with French and Spanish 
to the point of excusing the lawyers, who were not proficient in 
his own language, from trying to plead in it before him: "Speak 
French, read your authors in Spanish," he would say, *1 will 
understand you." You feel, Gentlemen, how encouraging were 
these words, how agreeably they resounded in the hearts to 
which they were addressed ! You may also conceive what flat- 
tering expectations the Louisianians drew from such a proof of 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 163 

devotedness to their interests, by a judge whom they knew to be 
a stranger to their n^anners and customs and to their laws, and 
perhaps amidst the perplexities under which they naturally la- 
bored after two rapid changes of domination, operated without 
their consent, they looked upon as an instrument by which they 
would be reduced to insignificance in their natal land, discovered 
and established by their ancestors. 

Not solely to the study of languages did he consecrate his 
nights; that of our laws was the special object of his constant 
attention. His progress in them was equally remarkable, and 
all the prejudice he may have brought here against the Roman 
law and the Spanish codes rapidly made way to just admiration. 
"The more I read the Roman laws, the more I am convinced that 
the name of written reason, given them by the learned and the 
wise, is the best definition that they could give of them." Such 
was his way of expressing himself ; and such words from a man 
endowed with so sane a judgment assuredly had much weight. 
These words he never contradicted to his death, if any one sin- 
cerely deplored our constant inclination for innovations, it was 
certainly the Hon. George Mathews. 

And how could he have thought or acted otherwise? Civil 
laws, (and under this name I do not want to include the arbi- 
trary laws which can have but a relative merit, and which may 
vary according to the form of government, the organization of 
the tribunals, and the manners and customs of nations), the 
civil laws which regulate contracts, agreements and obligations, 
are naught but the rules of common sense adopted by that per- 
fected reason which we call justice. If the proof were de- 
manded, I would say, "Read and meditate on the Treatise of Obli- 
gations by Pothier." This excellent treatise, in which are 
classed, in perfect order, the principles of Roman law on these 
immense matters, is, at the same time, the best code of practical 
morals that a man may study. Therefore, as a learned English 
civilian has nobly proclaimed, its rules are followed as law at 
Westminister as well as at New Orleans. Moreover, let us state. 
Gentlemen, that this immortal work, of which the first transla- 
tion into English was made by one of the most learned magistrates 
of our country, is an authority among almost all of the truly en- 
lightened nations of the world, who in appropriating it have 

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164 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

rendered a just homage to the merit of the author as well as to 
the wisdom of the Roman laws. (2) 

To say that Hon. George Mathews was always particularly 
distinguished for the solidity of his judgments might be express- 
ing it with too much partiality towards him and not enough jus- 
tice to his colleagues. But as he loved to grant to fine qualities 
the eulogy they deserved, those have never failed to give 
in his favor the most honorable testimony; how often have we 
not heard them declare that none were more highly gifted with 
sagacity? How often have they not said that in their delibera- 
tions he always astonished them by the extreme facility with 
which he appreciated the true rierits of a controversy and disen- 
tangled the important point to examine amidst all incidental 
questions with which the error or genius of sophistry had suc- 
ceeded in covering it? And what more satisfactory proof could 
be required to show the penetration of his mind, the excellence 
of his judgment, the solidity of his principles and his invariable 
love for justice, than his written verdicts? Have we not always 
noticed in them more desire to speak as a judge than ostenta- 
tiously, to decide a question rather than to exhibit the talents 
necessary for its development, disdaining all ambitious display 
of knowledge as well as all vain subtleties, in which wit some- 
times shines at the expense of sane reason; attaching more im- 
portance to the substance than to the form; his decisions, with- 
out ever offending the textual arrangements of the law, always 
bore the seal of equity. Let us not hesitate. Gentlemen, to bear 
this testimony. It was really through his zeal for all that is just 
and equitable that he was distinguished on the judge's bench 
from the first day he occupied it until the memorable epoch, 
when recognizing that our republican education had sufficiently 
progressed, the arbiters of our political destinies decided to 
liberate us from territorial tutelage and literally fulfill the con- 
ditions of the treaty of cession in admitting us into the Union, 
with the proviso of abandonment of all our rights to our vacant 
lands ! By this same persevering zeal he gained our esteem and 
our confidence from the time of the organization of our Su- 
preme Court until the moment when death snatched him from us 
and plunged his family into desolation and mourning. 

(2) The Honorable Francoiaf Xavler Martin. (He translated Pothler on 
Obligations from the book to the printer's case; set it up himself at Newbem, 
North Carolina, where the book was published in 1802.) 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 165 

Nature which had made George Mahtews a thoroughly just 
man, had moveover endowed him with great wit, with unusual 
gaiety of character, and with a deep fund of sensibility. Among 
his intimates, without seeming to be aware of it, he lent a cer- 
tain charm to the most unimportant conversations by a fund of 
original sallies and new thoughts, smart replies and witty jests 
which stimulated without offendng. On the bench, though, he 
was generally serious enough, by a single witticism or a jesting 
remark, he was often known to shed on the driest and most 
aridly fatiguing pleadings, a sort of vivaciousness, plajrfulness 
and grace, which far trom causing any prejudice to the debates 
or to the development of the question, in a way, threw new light 
on them and made them easier by relaxation of the mind. If, 
by specializing, I did not fear to stir up painful memories, I 
would confine myself to saying that, in criminal cases, an affect- 
ing situation cleverly brought in by an eloquent defender never 
failed to move him prof oundly : I shall say that on such occasions 
I have seen his eyefe fill with tears whilst certain orators possess- 
ing the art' 'of exciting the tenderest emotions of the heart en- 
deavored to insj>ire noble and tender sjmipathies in favor of 
fathers of families so unfortunate as to be Accused of capital 
crimed. Biit'I shall say that I saw him sob, even suffocate,, 
whilst pronouticing the terrible sentence of the law on the guilty 
culprits! Oh! He, though a judge, had not forgotten th^t he was 
a man, and, ^th assurance, it may be stated that "nothing af- 
fecting humanity was strange to him!'' And let it not be sur- 
mised that his strong sensibility interfered with the firtnness 
of his soul. No doubt, there are here more persons than one 
having like myself observed to what degree he allied one to the 
other, and conciliated certain deferences, certain decorum, with 
the dignity of his place and the profound consciousness of his 

At a memorable epoch when, in the midst of peace, we saw the 
Constitution of the United States, our charter, our laws and in- 
dividual liberty audaciously violated by a military chief, a soldier 
of the revolution ; this chief, whose renown was formerly and 
is at this day variously considered, had to appear before our su- 
perior court by virtue of a writ of "habeas corpus" issued against 
him to compel him to render an account of his motives in arrest- 
ing citizens protected by our laws, and in detaining them against 

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their will. He appeared before it in his brilliant uniform, wear- 
ing his redoubtable sword, and followed by a cortege of aides- 
de-camp and of other officers, armed as himself and whose mar- 
tial bearing perhaps left no doubt of their noble devotion to 
the laws of their country, but particularly to their illustrious 

Honorable George Mathews was on the bench. This strange 
spectacle in the temple of justice was a surprise to him as well 
as to all true friends of our institutions; but he was certainly 
not in the least shaken by it. In response to the writ of the 
court, a discourse as pompous as jesuitistical was delivered, in 
which the titles of "general and commander-in-chief of the mil- 
itary division" were frequently repeated with complacency and 
emphasis and pronounced in a solemn tone. This discourse 
ended by an insolent acknowledgment that the arrests and im- 
prisonments had been made on the sole orders of the general, 
who accepted the responsibility of all the consequences of their 
detention. He was heard with that calm and impassibility 
.which characterize real judges, but as soon as the last word had 
been uttered, as the audience expected, the court declared that 
the defense was not sufficient to satisfy the law which could not 
recognize the rights of a general to arrest citizens.. This was 
not the result expected by the author of a discourse so care- 
fully prepared and delivered with so much self confidence and 
arrogance. And in fact, could it be supposed that in a small 
city, erstwhile under the sceptre of an arbitrary king, situated 
at a distance of five hundred leagues from the seat of the gen- 
eral government, without immediate means of protection, there 
could be found a tribunal faithful enough to its duties, friendly 
enough to liberty and sufficiently energetic to oppose a general, 
vested with full military power, when he went beyond the laws. 
An increase of audacity became necessary and renewed efforts 
indispensable to crown the work of oppression. It was at once 
felt, for military instinct never errs when it contends against 
civil order! And suddently the dome of the temple of justice 
resounded with an insulting diatribe, not directly aimed at the 
judges but at the lawyer who had dared to solicit the protective 
writ. Invectives, boasts, calumnies, threats were by turn i^e- 
sorted to, and, in order to insure the triumph of the sword over 
the toga, they loudly declared, with looks flashing with anger. 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 167 

that the lawyer of the prisoners and whosoever dared to uphold 
them, "without regard for position or rank in the country," would 
be treated as accomplices of the traitors whom public safety had 
made it necessary to deprive of liberty. Oh! you, fellow mem- 
bers who hear me, and who perhaps believe you have conceived 
a correct idea of the sensations of the spectators of the scene I 
have just described, reflect that it was the first time that, in 
a country governed by the Constitution of the United States, 
so scandalous an outrage to the majesty of the laws was witnessed. 
Since then, unfortunately, we have been made familiar with as 
flagrant violations of our franchises .and of our social pact; 
violations which the people have seemed to applaud, as if to 
acknowledge that it felt too weak to preserve untainted and to 
transmit to posterty the noble heriti^e received from the im- 
mortal founders of American independence! 

This afflicting truth makes me fear that, had I the masculine 
and vigorous indignation of Demosthenes, I would succeed in ex- 
citing your indignation to the same pitch as that of the good citi- 
zens who were present at this odious scene, and, as it is to be 
hoped, that every sincere friend of liberty would be at the simple 
recital of these usurpations of power, of those insolent acts of 
TYRANNY. As to myself, who, since five years, have fled from 
the despotism of the greatest captain of modern times, I feared, 
I trembled at the idea that liberty, my idol, was in my adopted 
country a word as devoid of sense as in three fourths of old Eu- 
rope submissive to men of divine right. 

It was Edward Livingstone whom the general attacked with so 
much rashness in the palace of justice; and there that illustrious 
lawyer displayed in all its vigor as in all its wealth his brilliant 
oratorical talent. The accuser, satisfied with the blows he had 
dealt, proudly raised his superb head, when Edward Livingstone, 
whom he believed overthrown, and whom the Court was preparing 
to cover with the protection of the laws, — rose in his turn, with 
that amiable simplicity of manner so pleasing to all, and after 
having modestly thanked the judges for the share they seemed to 
take in the occurrence, improvised one of those discourses worthy 
of a Roman consul confounding Catiline, striking, stirring up, 
electrifying, subjugating, transporting, confounding, scarcely 
leaving one the faculty of perceiving that it is but a man who 
speaks and not a God who thunders. 

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168 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

Who was then great? It was surely not the "general com- 
manding the military division ;" not the fine staff officers of his 
retinue. The reign of justice began anew. Men returned to 
their places and the terror by means of which they had sought 
to make themselves greater and redoubtable vanished. Breathing 
more freely, good citizens had the patriotic satisfaction of seeing 
them solely in the dimensions which nature and our laws had 
given them. You understand, I suppose, Gentlemen, that they 
very seriously thought of a prompt retreat, without even casting 
a backward glance, when, suddenly, in a firm voice, the Court 
declared that before retiring the writ must be enforced by pro- 
ducing the persons arrested. The difficulty was great, but not 
invincible. They extricated themselves from this false step by 
affirming and causing it \o be affirmed that the prisoners had 
been embarked for the North, and that the boats which were to 
carry them were already out of the river and beyond our limits. 

God knows how true these affirmations were, but the victims 
of despotism were not released. This great and noble end was 
not reached, but the accusations, the threats which had provoked 
Edward Livingstone's fine and thundering improvisation were 
effectual, and, from this moment, military arrests ceased, the 
law resumed its sway, and the work on the old fortifications 
which were being restored at great expense to resist an army of 
traitors and bandits, who were said to be on their way to invade 
our Territory, to lay hold of the rich metals of our banks, and 
to make our city the capital of a new empire, was soon aban« 
doned, for, to the astonishment of the good patriots who are al- 
ways ready to applaud strokes of politics when the apprentice 
despots make them in the name of "Public Safety," the prodig- 
ious army which had frightened more than one brave man (our 
governor first of all) never appeared anywhere. (3) 

If, as it cannot be denied, the orator of whom I have just 
spoken covered himself with real glory on this occasion, Hon. (Jeo. 
Mathews was admired and justly esteemed for his impassibility, 
his firmness and his fidelity to the constitution and to our 
laws. May God will that we should always have such defenders 
of our rights and such judges. With them, the institutions 

(3) (The incident here described occurred in December, 1806, durinflr the 
uproar created in New Orleans by Oeneral James Wilkinson, concerning Aaron 
Burr'af Expedition. It Is he who is here denounced. The governor is W. C. C. 
Claiborne. 4 Gayarre 170.) 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La, 169 

made to protect individual liberty count for something in times 
of crisis, without them, they are but smple theories which auda- 
cious ambition may, with impunity, trample under foot. 

Until now. Gentlemen, certain as I am of having brought to 
your notice, of having recalled to memory, naught that is not 
strictly true, I cannot think that any may deny that, in the 
person of George Mathews, we truly had ah excellent judge. But 
if there was anything to desire before irrevocably expressing this 
opinion, I would say : read the many verdicts he rendered, impress 
yourselves deeply with the difficulties, which, in every country, 
accompany the sublime task of the upright man intrusted with 
rendering the oracles of justice, and with good faith, without 
prejudice of nationality or coteries, consider how gvcat and mul- 
tiplicate were those incessantly before our tribunals, by reason 
of the men they had to judge as well as the laws, to be applied. 

You are aware. Gentlemen, that a certain reason, a sane judg- 
ment, and a great fund of probity are not sufficient to fulfill 
efficiently the duties of judge. To these indispensable gifts one 
must unite the most perfect knowledge, not only of men and the 
laws in general, but of those under his jurisdiction and of the 
laws which he is under duty to interpret and to apply. 

But, how must this so necessary knowledge be acquired? 
Man ! who is he who will flatter himself with the belief that he 
knows them well, notwithstanding what the Roman orator may 
have said to the contrary; it would be very difficult to comprise 
what they are in a definition which would fit the whole species 
and each individual. 

From the ordinary and peaceful man who follows the pre- 
cepts of virtue and honor he has received from his honest pa- 
rents, without trying to analyse them, to the turbulent man to 
whom all social and religious restraint is unbearable. From the 
enlightened citizen whom study and meditation have penetrated, 
persuaded that wisdom, probity, honor, neighborly love and pa- 
triotic love are not vain terms agreed upon, who, as an honest 
and good citizen, constantly recommends them as being alone 
able to lead men and societies to happiness; to the enemy of social 
order and of the human race who affects the belief and en- 
deavors to persuade that there is neither moral good nor evil 
on earth. From the contemptuous sycophant who does not 
blush to pose as the admirer and singer of the most scandalous 

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170 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

excesses and vices of the rich or powerful man at whose ex- 
pense he subsists, to the ambitious demagogue who aims at level- 
ling everything in order to have no one above him in fortune 
or merit and to make himself the idol of the masses whom his 
disorganizing theories have seduced and led astray. From the 
simple man who abandons himself to the chimerical and ruinous 
hope of metamorphosing and quadrupling the dollar, fruit of his 
honest labor and of his wise economies, by the sole effect of an 
outbidding at a public sale, pompously announced by the cunning 
speculator who with the aid of a clever engineer, transforms on 
paper, uncultivated fields, impenetrable woods, deep morasses, 
trembling prairies into smiling villages, into manufacturing 
towns, into majestic cities which hundreds of thousands of men, 
from God knows what part of. the earth, will hasten to vivify 
by their presence, to enrich by their industry. Of this, every- 
where — here as elsewhere, there are numberless varieties. 

If, one casts a glance on the innumerable works of nian, 
when they examine the admirable diversity of the products of his 
industry, the marvels of the arts he has invented, the progress 
he has made and does not cease making in the sciences, even if he 
is considered only as the creator and unique possessor of writ- 

''that ingenious art. 

To paint words and to speak to the eyes;" 

(me can but be inipressed by his immense superiority over 
all the organized beings of creation. If on seeing a man 
traverse the bottomless seas on the fragile vessels his hands have 
built, conquering worlds which his active genius has divined, that 
his intrepid courage has discovered, where there were formerly 
naught but deserts and vast solitudes ; founding, as by enchant- 
ment, colonies, states and empires, populous, rich and powerful; 
if on seeing him calculate the march of the celestial bodies, meas- 
ure the skies, **snatching from it its thunderbolts," producing 
the terrible crash and the terrible effects of its thunder, and, by 
means of a little water which a little fire converts into vapor, 
cross distances with the rapidity of the eagle, on cars on which 
are piled the heaviest loads, and thus make distance disappear 
so as to seem to have usurped the entirely divine prerogative 
of finding himself in several places at the same time ; if in con- 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 171 

templating so many prodigies one is justly proud of belonging 
to the species and tempted to believe himself the King of the 

On the other side, when one considers the folly, the extrav- 
agance, the vices, the injustice, the selfishness, the inhumanity, 
the cruelty of the acts of individuals and even of societies ; when 
one thinks of the disorders, of the evils, of the calamities en- 
gendered by pride ; the baseness, the credulity, the hypocrisy, the 
cupidit3% corruption, venality of many; the depravity, the arro- 
gance, the ambition, the ardent thirst for power, the intrigues or 
bad faith, the duplicity of others ; truly, the high, the sublime idea 
so pleasurably formed of the superiority of the species is strange- 
ly weakened, and it is not without reason that the sage passes 
from admiration to disgust and to misanthropy. 

Everywhere, and perhaps more specially in the countries 
that have attained high civilization and great prosperity, men 
are seen who ardently strive for a twofold aim, which by more or 
less tortuous roads they are eager to reach. This aim, what 
is it? Power and riches. To get there they push each other, they 
press against and jostle each other, they bruise each other whilst 
proclaiming very loudly the words of patriotism, disinterested- 
ness, virtue, probity, and whilst declaiming against the disorders 
of the times, the rapacity of those in positions, the apathy of the 
people and all sorts of corruption emanating, in their opinion, 
from the possession of treasures and the exercise of authority. 

Amongst us, gentlemen and fellow members, who were the 
men whom the Hon. George Mathews had to judge. On his 
arrival, Louisiana had a white population almost homo- 
genous. The agents of Charles III and of Charles IV, had 
since many years conducted themselves wisely enough to allow 
them to forget or to forgive the acts of useless cruelty by which 
O'Reilly, of execrable memory, to signalize the power of his 
master on the banks of the Mississippi, had immolated noble and 
generous colonists to punish them, alas, for their very natural 
attachment, to France their mother, who, however, had aban- 
doned them. The Spaniards, in a way had intermingled with 
the Creoles ; they had adopted their customs and manners. The' 
Creoles, with the language of their fathers, had preserved their 
sparkling wit and gaiety, their changeable but confiding and 
tender character, pliable and communicative, their kindliness and 

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172 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

their virtues of hospitality. In 1805 they still constituted but 
one same family, in which the stranger always met with such 
a cordial welcome that he could hardly be persuaded that his 
good fortune had not cast him amongst good and tender brothers 
who were happy to see him again after a long absence. 

But soon this Louisiana, so cruelly abused by men who owe 
most of their reputation for valor to the patriotism of her* chil- 
dren; this Louisiana, so prompt to forget injury in order to 
recall only the services rendered, this Louisiana, who more than 
once had revenged outrages by noble benefactiojis, every year, 
every month, every day, saw her population increased by men 
of all nationalities, of all creeds, of all professions, coming fi;om 
all the civilized regions of the earth; some of them abandoning 
the hearth of their fathers to flee from persecution by their 
political enemies; others proscribed, exiled by revolutions; some 
to give themselves up to an art which received but little encour- 
agement in their country; others to share with the old inhab- 
itants the chances of fortune which were offered by a rich and 
still virgin soil, and a commerce which could but extend under 
the freest government of the world; all of them speaking dif- 
ferent languages, differing in education, planners, prejudices 
and principles, having no common ties and whom the pursuit of 
individual interests must long keep ^sunder. These were the 
men whom George Mathews had to judge; do you think it was 
possible for him to know them well? 

And the laws instituted to diminish all excesses, to repress 
all disorders, to protect all rights, and tp render justice to all, 
what were they? And what are they now amongst us? It would 
be difficult to affirm that they are all that enlightened reason might 
desire them to be ; not that we have ceased since thirty-two years 
to compile each year a new volume of them, but, from ever 
amending in order to perfect; of modifying to render more just; 
of innovating to satisfy new needs ; of abrogating to simplify, we 
have succeeded in rendering more obscure that which was clear, 
insufficient that which was complete, embarrassing that which 
was easy, unintelligible that which every one understood, and 
'of impoverishing us to the point of making it necessary to bor- 
row from others what they formerly borrowed from us. 

As early as 1805 the Spanish and Roman laws, written, 
it is true, in languages unfamiliar to several public functionaries, 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 173 

as well as to the greater part of the old and new inhabitants, gave 
umbrage to persons whose reason, being obscured by national 
prejudices, repulsed the idea however simple that laws, col- 
lected and put together since numerous centuries, might in the 
nineteenth century be suitable to the administration of civil jus- 
tice amidst a free people. 

Consequently several attempts were made to do away with 
these laws and to substitute in their stead a customary law, Anglo- 
Saxon-Norman, known under the name of Common Law. No 
doubt a very respectable law, but under the control of which 
justice is so fettered in its course that poor plaintiffs are obliged 
to have recourse to other tribunals than those of la«\r, that is to 
Courts of Equity, which without its being suspected and per- 
haps without wishing to acknowledge it, do nothing else but 
follow and apply the eternal rules of natural justice which they 
take from Roman Law. The first attempt was made when Hon. 
J. B. Prevost occupied alone the bench of our Superior Court. 
Edward Livingstone, James Brown,- Louis Moreau-Lislet, Pierre 
Derbigny and a fifth member of the Bar, (whom I must abstain 
from naming) * united to oppose it. 

The phalanx of their antagonists, Scotch, English, Irish, and 
others presented itself as relying on the organic law of the 
Court which carried with it the jurisdiction of common law. 
It was on this unique foundation that they erected the for- 
midable work from the height of which the artillery of their 
eloquence was to crush the antique edifice of civil law in 
this country. The attack was brisk, they made the most heroic 
efforts to insure victory! But Livingstone spoke, at his voice 
the menacing and thunderng work of the new Titans crumbled 
to its base, and the oracle which then emanated from 
the mouth of Hon. John B. Prevost swept away the light rubbish 
and dispersed it. 

Dizzy and stupefied by so speedy a defeat, these haughty as- 
sailants, who with regret saw an inexhaustible mine of rich 
prosecutions lost to them, could not comprehend how the work 
their genius had reared with as much labor as art could be so 
swiftly and so completely demolished. Let us not be astonished ; 
they had not understood, (as much by fault of nature as from 
their imperfect studies), that the sacramental terms of the 

• (Meaning himself, Etlenne Mazureau.) 

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174 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

law on which they based their attack, might signify that the 
Superior Court would not exercise jurisdiction oyer the Courts 
of Equity, but would in no wise introduce their common law 
of England into the territory of Orleans. Judge, Gentlemen, 
of their exceeding blindness ; the same law on which they founded 
their right also organized the legislative power, and contained 
the precise provision "that all the laws in force in the country 
would continue to be there observed until modified, changed or 
abrogated by the Legislature." 

The second attempt was made after John B. Prevost had 
tendered his resignation, after Judge Sprigg had left us and 
when the Hon. George Mathews occupied the bench alone by vir- 
tue of the law then in force. It would probably not have been 
repeated had the decision rendered at the first attempt been 
transcribed in the minutes of the Court. This surprising omis- 
sion waB, I imagine, the sole cause of the renewed courage dis- 
played in this second attack by the enemies of our law, the result 
of which was the same as previously, that is, as void of glory and 
not more profitable to its valiant authors. 

Without doubt, you comprehend. Gentlemen, the imminent 
peril not only to the civil laws of the country but also to the for- 
tunes of the ancient inhabitants, at one epoch as well as the 

What would have become of those fortunes if they had suc- 
ceeded in bringing on the revolution threatened by these two 
impious attempts? What Louisianian would have dared to act 
without having at his side a civilian versed in foreign laws, 
hastily reared on the ruins of those of his country? Who would 
have known how to trade validly with hi« neighbor, how, with- 
out anxiety, to dispose of or accept by donation, or by will? Who 
would have known the extent of power he possessed over his wife, 
his children, his slaves? What woman could have had an idea of 
her rights, or of the nature and extent of her duties as a wife 
and as a mother? 

Let us admit that the situation of this recent and fine part of 
the Union would have been deplorable if Hon. John B. Prevost 
first, and after him, Hon. George Mathews had been short- 
sighted or had held views as subversive to all justice as the au- 
dacious aggressors, who, relying more on their strength than on 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Cxmrt of La, 175 

the justice of their cause, had the temerity to lay their sacrilegious 
hands on what, at that time, was considered as the holy ark. 

Let us acknowledge that the decisions of these two conscien- 
tious judges in such critical circumstances were truly the salva- 
tion of the people of Louisiana, so hospitable, so full of confi- 
dence, so eminently friendly to order, so deeply imbued with 
respect for their neghbors' rights. 

In 1808 the Legislature, with a view of satisfying appar- 
ently reasonable exigencies, decreed the compilation of a digest 
of the civil laws of the country in French and in English. This 
important work was done. But possibly when it appeared there 
were many reasons to regret that they had not done as the Eng- 
lish in the Isle of Trinity, which when it passed under the Britan- 
nic trident was in the same conditions as Louisiana when the 
starry banner was hoisted on its soil. There, by an order of the 
government, the Spanish laws were collected and translated into 
English. Here, there was nothing to prevent their translation 
into the two languages we spoke. 

This course which would not have been very expensive, ac- 
cording to Hon. George Mathews, would have proved advanta- 
geous by placing us in such a position as not to think of a re- 
form until assured by study, meditation and experience of the 
necessity of this work in order to conciliate all interests and all 
needs, and to effect as far as possible, and without resorting to 
violent means, a desirable fusion of the new-comers and of the 
old residents. . This wise magistrate thought that if this resolu- 
tion had been adopted we all might have reason for congratula- 

And let not injustice be done him by believing that he thus 
expressed himself through condescension, or by unenlightened 
admiration for Roman or Spanish law, if what I have already 
said of that legislation and of his study of it were not sufficient 
to justify his thought, nothing would be easier than to succeed 
therein, and persons prone to doubt would probably be very 
much surprised when told that several of the great principles 
consecrated by our constitutions, had likewise been consecrated 
by Roman and Spanish law a few hundred years before the im- 
mortal Columbus discovered our hemisphere. Open the Roman 
code of Alfonso the Wise, you will find, in energetic terms, that 
rule, sovereign protector of acquired rights and of human frailty 

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176 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

"that no law may have retroactive effects." It will be seen that 
many centuries before they thought in England, by the "writ of 
habea corpus" to shield individual liberty, the Romans, in a 
Praetorial Edict, taken from the Justinian Digest, had their 
writ of "de homine libero exhibendo." What more was neces- 
sary to recommend those laws to the respect and admiration of 
a man so essentially just, so profoundly sensible as Hon. George 

This excellent citizen, this impartial magistrate, also thought 
that several provisions of the ancient Castillian laws, particu- 
larly those relating to donations and wills, were much more in 
conformity with the spirit and the aim of our republican insti- 
tutions than certain laws and customs, the offspring of feodality, 
which, from England where a powerful oligarchy maintains 
them, have come to be established on American soil, with the 
Puritanism erstwhile inimical to all liberty of conscience. 
This opinion may perhaps appear strange but its correct- 
ness may easily be demonstrated. That in a wholly aristo- 
cratic monarchy or republic legislation should continually strive 
to confer on parents who have amassed riches a right to favor 
such or such a child among their children, to the prejudice of the 
others, in order to place the preferred one in a position to main- 
tain what they call the lustre of their name, or the splendor of 
their house, is a simple consenuence of the nature of the govern- 
ment which continually aims at concentrating all that carries with 
it consideration or influence, power or strength, in those who sur- 
round the depositaries of supreme authority or who share in it. 

But, assuredly, nothing is more contrary to the spirit and aim 
of our political institutions based on the dogma of the sovereignty 
of the people; nothing is to be more dreaded in a republic like 
ours where it is to be desired that all citizens, as far as possible, 
may have the means to live honestly and independently of each 

Therefore the order of successions and the rules for their 
division, as they were established by the general laws of Spain, 
were in conform'ty with the spirit and favorable to the purpose of 
a popular government. Therefore, in restricting to one-fifth of 
his estate, the portion of which a father might freely dispose 
by donation of will, these laws inevitably resulted in a continual 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 177 

division and sub-division of large fortunes and also in making 
a more equal distribution of property between citizens. 

It is not possibly true that the unlimited right of making a 
will is incompatible with the great principles of our republican 
institutions. At most it suits the selfish and impudent citizen * 
who desires liberty only for himself, who is provoked at the idea 
that laws are made not so much to favor his unjust predilec- 
tion than to provide for the welfare of posterity. 

Let the laws grant this monstrous right, and, sooner than you 
expect, the greater part of those fortunes piled up by pride, will 
go to their grave, in the person of heirs as rapacious and unpro- 
ductive and insatiable for distinction and power. Let the laws 
grant this anti-liberal right and you will run the risk of having 
at the head of your country in a short while a dangerous aris- 
tocracy, the most arrogant and the most unbearable of all, the 
aristocracy of riches. With it, and crawling at its feet you will 
find kn ever increasing number of men exposed to all the tempta- 
tions suggested by indigence, of necessitous proletariats always 
willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder. 

What will then become of the fundamental dogma: the 
sovereignty of the people? Woe to the free states whose im- 
prudent legislation tends to concentrate fortunes instead of divid- 
ing them. Power often passed to the side that holds the treasures. 

The unlimited faculty of disposing by will Is also very preju- 
dicial to the prosperity of agricultural countries. Really it is 
only when the land is partitioned off amongst a great many active 
and laborious proprietors that it yields to its full power. 

If republican Rome had had the laws of Alfonso the Wise, 
would she ever have heard of agrarian laws? Would her Senate 
have so often sent the citizens to outside wars if this terrible ex- 
pedient had not been necessary to preserve the social body from 
the bloody commotions so frequently threatened by provocations 
caused by the division of lands. 

The fight of property cannot include that of disposing of 
one's fortune without restriction. Established and protected by 
law, the wisdom of nations demands that, in its exercise, it be 
confined within the limits which general interest commands. 
The father who claims free exercise of this right to its full extent, 
without doubt, forgets two sacred duties imposed on him, one by 
nature and the other by society : the first to cherish all his chil- 

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178 The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 

dren equally, the second to alloW no act to his to tend to make 
any of theih a burdien on fellow-citizens. ' 

And allow me to repeat after Hon. George Mathews : It is not 
in a country, nor in a centiiry,' in which, thanks' td what we call 
progress, illicit unions no longer seem to be under reprobation, 
that the unlimited right to will at pleasure may be authorized by 
law, unless we are disposed with anti-social indifference to isee 
the children born of legitimate marriages despoiled to enrich the 
others, and family fori;uneS pass fl^om white heirs to those who 
may find their ancestori^ between cape Verd and the cape of Good 
Hope, and the Tartuf es, apostles of negtophilism, by thiia powerful 
means; level the freehand this freed classes, and then se«ll With the 
blood of both, confounded in an iminerise hecatomb; the infernal 
act of iafcolition, for which they are working in the name of Heaveh 
and whidh is j)€ithaps dictated by the hypocriticiBll philanthrbfy 
of the foreigner ids jtealbus as' he is anxious of bui* prosperity. 

On the otlier part, doeis not the farther who regrets that hefe 
he has rioi fiill liberty in disposing of his fortune by will deceive 
himself in the thoug^it that tliis would bie a guarantee of the 
affection aiid respect of his children? l)bes it mean that k young 
Englishman distinguishes himself more than a young Castilfari 
in filial pietjr. Let us pity the father wh6 coiitd believe that hie 
could obtain love and obedience from his isbn onlir by th^ fear'he 
coiild inspire of disinheriting him. It cannot be true that the 
eloquent voice of nature no longer vibrates in the hearts of those 
who owe us tiieir life, who have always been the object of biir 
most tender sollicitude : it is not possible that a pfaltry pecuniary 
interest has niore influence over them. Ah! for our own honor, 
let us silence reasoning^ lio doubt, led a'sttay by the prejudices 
of another age with the sole aim of gain, iii' these important and 
delicate matters, let us not falsely cry out that the law on the 
banks of the Mississippi be the same as that on the banks of the 
Thames, that filial piety may not reside in our homes Unless 
held by interest: one might believe that paternal tenderness 
never existed there. 

Besides, Spanish law, in fixing the disposable share, in 
several cases allowed a father to disinherit his son. For in- 
stance if the son dared to strike his father, to speak offensive 
words to him, to accuse him of crime, to deprive him of liberty, 
to defame his character; — in each of these cases and in several 

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George Mathews-^Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 179 

others, the father had the incontestable right of punishing him 
by disinheriting him. , 

You may then see^ Gentlemen, that the Legislature had 
wisely conciliated the obligations of the fathex to his children 
with the duties of the children to their father. It had done 
more. It had instituted paternal power, a kind of supreme mag- 
istrature, which was the surest safeguard of family virtue. 

This power was quite extensive, it is true, but the father 
could not abuse it. A son could be emancipated and. pass from 
too heavy a yoke to the protective authority of a wiser and more 
humane tutor. I feel, perhaps too late, that I have extended this 
digression beyond the limit, and the only excuse to find is the 
inconsiderate reproach made by certain jurisconsults of too 
much attachment to the ancient laws of the country. 

« Allow me, however, to make some comparisons between 
them and our new laws, which do not seem to be in favor of the 

Under the swiay of the Spanish laws as under the rule of our 
Codes,' an appeal was granted from the inferior to the superior 
judge. The appeal wa^ suspensive when it was made within 
a given delay. It Wafe only devolutive when it was made after 
that delay. Suspensive it left matters in statu quo until judg- 
ment by the supreme tribunal. Devolutive it did not arrest exe- 
cution of the judgment. ' This execution took place, but with ob- 
ligation for the triumphant plaintiff to furnish a reliable bond 
to re-establish things in the same condition if on appeal the judg- 
ment was reversed. 

Thus, when the property of a defendant unjustly condemned 
in the first instance had been seized and sold in execution of the 
judgment from which only a devolutive appeal had been made, 
if in last resort, the plaintiff won his case he was again put in 
possession of the property and placed in the same situation as 

Nowadays, Gentlemen, as you know, it is no longer so. The 
new law demands that even when an appeal is 'made in the given 
time for the suspension of judgment in the first instance and 
that the party appealing furnishes bond to proceed and to 
pay the amount of the condemnation and the costs if the judg- 
ment be confirmed by the superior tribunal. If he does not 
furnish the bond, or if he allows the given time to elapse his 

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180 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

adversary may have his property seized and sold and exact pay- 
ment and freely dispose of all that he has thereby received. 
Nothing could possibly restrain this adversary or prevent his 
acting with such dangerous promptitude. He will probably 
hasten to take advantage of this circumstance so favorable to his 
interests, if he is not of good faith, or if he has not absolnte 
confidence in the merits of his case; and why so? Because the 
new law does not say as the ancient one: "You may have the 
judgment you obtained executed since your antagonist has not 
satisfied my exactions in order to render his appeal suspensive, 
but you yourself will previously furnish good and sufficient se- 
curity that you will reinstate him in peaceful possession of the 
property which you wish to have seized and sold and re-establish 
him in the same conditions as before your suit, if the supreme 
tribunal reverses the judgment of the inferior court." Thus, under 
our present legislation it is in vain that a defendant, who has been 
able to take only a devolutive appeal, obtains, in the end, a strik- 
ing justice against the unjust man who prosecuted him, in vain is 
the wrong done him by the ignorance and incapacity of the judge 
of the first instance repaired by the wisdom of the judge of the 
last resort. If, after having felt the consequences of the unjust 
but legal expropriation which followed the erroneous judgment 
the plaintiff has squandered the proceeds or absconded and left no 
property, the property of the unfortunate defendant condemned 
by an ignorant and imbecile judge is utterly lost to him. Despoiled, 
reduced to penury, he and his children have no resource but tears 
and no consolation but the sterile sentence of the Court of Ap- 

Does not this desolating contrast impress you? Which of 
the two laws is the good one? Certainly the most insolent par- 
tiality will not dare to say that it is the new one! However, it 
is the work of what we call our wisdom ; it is the product of a 
century resplendant in prodigies, whilst the Spanish law equally 
protecting the rights of an appellant and those of the defendants 
was the work of a single man called king or tyrant, the product 
of a century of barbarity. 

Let us not imagine that this iniquitous new law cannot bear 
its bitter fruits. It has already done so, and honest fathers of 
families have been completely ruined. How greatly Hon. George 
Mathews deplored the cruel necessity in which this disastrous 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 181 

law has placed our supreme court, that of sanctioning so fra- 
grant a spoliation. Ah ! we may fear that it will often claim new 
victims. We cannot too speedily tear it out of our Codes. 

Would to God it were, Gentlemen, that this incomprehensi- 
ble thirst for innovations, which has not yet ceased to torment 
us; that the dangerous mania of substituting the trials of our 
short-sighted views to the lessons of long experience had been 
disastrous to just rights only in the cases I have alluded to! But 
this is not the place nor the occasion^ to extend at length on 
this inexhaustible subject. 

Besides, I believe that I have sufficiently justified the opin- 
ion emitted by Hon. George Mathews, that if instead of busying 
ourselves so much in making codes we had translated and studied 
the laws we did not understand from not knowing how to read 
them, we would have had occasion for congratulation instead. 
Let us not dissimulate it, we must have master minds, jurists of 
vast erudition and of rare sagacity, highly enlightened, foresee- 
ing and very wise legislators to make better digests than that 
of Justinian and better laws than those of Alfonso the Wise. 

Why have we not had the prudence and the circumspection of 
the legislators of the other states of the Union? They are not 
given to meddling with the system of their civil laws ; therefore 
their jurisprudence is ever illuminated by the experience of cen- 
turies as a luminary. 

Our Code of 1808, whose co-existence with the ancient laws 
that were not incompatible was wisely maintained, remained in 
vigor during almost eighteen years. If, as it must be acknowl- 
edged, imperfections were noticeable in it, jurisprudence aidea 
by the enlightenment found in the Roman and Spanish laws had 
ended by embodying itself into a corps of legal doctrines which, 
if not perfect, (what work of the human mind can be so), was 
at least sufficiently complete, sufficiently comprehensible to all 
slightly studious minds, to satisfy in great part the exigencies of 
reason and justice. 

If, at the outset, our judges felt their way, (which was In- 
evitable) one may truly say that in 1825 their tread was firmer 
and that a multiplicity of rules of daily application, totally 
omitted from our digest, or set there in too vague or too abstract 
a manner, had acquired a desirable clearness and stability, and 
had become familiar to the least instructed practitioners. 

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182 The Louisiana Historicocl Qtuirterly 

But, as if it were in the destiny of our country that we 
should move from trial to trial, risking to plunge into confusion 
and of upsetting everything, clamors arose against this same 
digest, against its insufficiency, and above all, against the neces- 
sity under which we still labored of going to sources from which 
were taken the principles which rule our civil tribunals. They 
wanted a code comprehensible to all ; as if the science of laws, 
as well as any other science, was not always and everywhere 
the exclusive portion of studious persons who make it their sole 
occupation. They wanted a code covering everything, foresee- 
ing everything, providing for everything, as if such a code could 
ever emanate from man! A new code was made. Less incom- 
plete and in this respect less imperfect than the f ir3t. However, 
it was so far from fulfilling the exigencies of justice that our 
tribunals were continually obliged to dig into the old compila- 
tions of Castilian and Latin laws to find rules that might be ap- 
plied to cases to which the general rules in that voluminous col- 
lection could with difficulty be applied. 

At last, in 1828, notwithstanding the experience of three 
more years of groping, notwithstanding the omissions intention- 
ally made in the last Code through the wisdom of it» compilers, 
who refused to include in it what belonged to a commercial code, 
a spirit of discontent was again manifested, hostilities were re- 
newed against the ancient laws of the country, and French, Ro- 
man and Spanish laws were all abolished. 

Gentlemen, what ivas the result of this decisive measure? 
Was it not, first of allv depriving us of the help of the enlighten- 
ment of all previous centuries, but moreover, depriving us of 
laws which were in constant demand. We had our own commercial 
laws, we now have none. We had a perfectly co-ordinated sys- 
tem of legal procedure in ^executory and hypothecaiy matters, in 
that respect we have but a few rough draught titles in our prac- 
tice code. We may say the sam^ 61 all that refers to the various 
meetings of creditors, to compositions, to voluntary and com- 
pulsory cessions. Thus when a question of commercial law pre- 
sents itself our tribunals are obliged to have, recourse- to the 
rules and principles adopted and consecrated out of this country 
by foreign legislators or judges, and in all executoiy or security 
matters, in the voluntary or compulsory cessions of property, or 
the compositions or delays, they are compelled to supply what 

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George Mathevfs^-Pres. 0/ tfie Supreme Court of La. 183 

is lacking in legislft|;ive provisions, and instead of confining 
Jthemselv^s to their prerogatives as judges, interpreters* of the 
law, in a way, they have to es^blish themselves as legislators 
and enact new rules which they ^re obliged to follow; and this, 
in direct opposition tp the. wise principles which constitute the 
fundamental base of our. social organization, in violation pf our 
constitutions which forbid confiding our legislative and judiciary 
power to the same persons. 

Such, Gentleman, were the disastrous effects of the act of 
1828 which struck at our new codes with the purpose of amend- 
ing or ameliorating them. Such was the result of the famous 
Section 25 of this act, which, when he knew of it, Hon. George 
Mathews called: "The great sweeping clause" (le gran coup de 
balai). If it is progress to impoverish one's self; if it is prog- 
ress to roughly eartinguish the lights which ^d us to walk with- 
out stumbling through the ,obscure labyrinth to which lead the 
opposite pretentions of pleaders who are led astray or who are 
of bad faith; it was certainly a yery remarkable. one th^y made us 
make in 1828 ! But let u^i not be vain enough to b^heve that it 
was the ,only one of its kind 4n history. 

In the middle of the seventh century, a certain king, by name 
Chindasvendo, had a code mrade by some scientists of his country. 
He adopted it and decorated it with the title of "Fuero Juzgo"; 
this code contained six hundred passably obscure articles or pro- 
visions, which they persuaded him covered all that should be 
provided by the legislation of an already ancient nation given to 
commerce, agriculture and war. In consequence he ordered that 
this masterpiece of wisdom be the sole guide followed by his 
loyal subjects in all the Spanish provinces under his paternal 
domination, and, in order to assure it more fully with, one stroke 
of the p^n he abrogated the whole Roman law. As another 
Omar, this Visigoth thus acquired the signal honor of having de- 
stroyed, not by fire, but by a single act of his royal will, of having 
banished from all the tribunals of his empire; a whole legislation, 
the fruit of the meditations and wisdom of ten centuries, which 
eyen in pur, century of prodigies, the most enlightened philoso- 
phers and, Jurisconsults have decorated with the sublime name 
of written reason. This written reason which blind passion may 
at times, take a aavag^y pleasure in overthrowing from its throne, 
which, after having outlived Rome, its mother-country, had re- 

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184 • The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

sumed its sway amidst the barbarians who had destroyed the 
'*king'^ nation," is immortal as the principles of natural justice 
whose oracle it is, it is the torch of human justice and will be so 
when names more famous than that of Chindasvendo, (whom I 
have just exhumed), will have fallen into oblivion. Assuredly, 
it proved to all a sad subject of congratulation, let us acknowl- 
edge it with Hon. George Mathews in the nineteenth century, 
without suspecting it, to have followed the example of an ignor^ 
ant, presumptuous despot who reigned twelve hundred years ago. 
Let us hope that, aware of the harm of this act of vandalism, 
we will soon find a way of repairing the harm we have inflicted 
on ourselves. After having traveled in a large circle of errors, 
real progress and the only possible one for civilized man is to 
return promptly to the eternal laws of reason and justice. 

If, before 1828, all our judges and leigrislators required 
varied and extensive knowledge, many studies or researches to 
derive advantage from the treasures of knowledge and wisdom 
which centuries of experience had transmitted to us, can we, at 
this time, flatter ourselves with the assurance that they are, or 
may become in the future, rich enough from their own resources 
to supply all that is wanting in our modern codes? Equity, they 
will say, equity is the source from which they will draw. Ah! 
Let us fear that it be with equity as with common sense of which 
every one speaks, which each one believes he possesses, and which 
is, in reality, the possession of but a small number of beings 
gifted by nature sUch as was our worthy judge. Into what 
frightful chaos have we been thrown ! What wide portals have 
we not opened to the despotism of the tribunals. 

The Roman digest alone, transcribed in part in the code of 
Alfonso the Wise, contained over one hundred and forty thou- 
sand divers laws and decisions of which fifty thousand perhaps 
referred to matters succintly treated in the 3,522 articles of our 
new code. The matter referring to legacies alone takes up 
eleven hundred texts of the Justinian Digest ; our code holds but 
thirty-one rules on this immense subject. Consequently, would 
there not be a certain amount of folly in persuading ourselves 
that this code, aside from some deserved praise, can cover every- 
thing? Experience has often taught us that, even if we were 
rich in the fruits of the wisdom of over twenty centuries, we did 
not yet have all that was desirable to have in order to resolve 

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George Mathews — Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 185 

many questions which seemed new, and which probably had been 
rarely presented for examination before the jurisconsults of an- 
tiquity. To what were those new questions due? They were 
probably due to the very perfectibility bf our species; but they 
were specially due to the astoiiishing development of manufac- 
tures, agriculture and all human enterprises since the discovery 
of the new world ; the passage to the East Indies by the Cape of 
Tempests and the glorious revolution of the American Colonies, 
which was the signal for emancipation of the genius of commerce 
all over the earth. These new questions were due to the per- 
fection and mixture of our languages ; to the variety, the compli- 
cation, the infinite multiplicity of our new relations from nation 
to nation, from man to man ; to the modifications which, from all 
these causes, must necessarily subsist in our contracts, our ar- 
rangements, our treaties, or engagements, our obligations, as a 
result of our prudence or of our levity, of our confidence or of 
our fears, of our hopes or of our anxieties, of our sincerity or of 
our lack of good faith. 

Therefore, Gentlemen, when we wish to consider seriously 
the task which our judges had to fulfill and the difficulties which 
they met at every step as the natural result of the iiistability of 
our laws, and of the new studies which incessant changes neces- 
sitated, who among us will find it surprising that they often com- 
mitted grievous errors? Who could conscienciously complain if 
such had been the usual result of their decisions. The more I 
reflect on this the more pleased I am to think that if until now 
we have had judgments (as I like to say it) which may generally 
fitand the most severe criticism, it is that our judges were en- 
dowed with a knowledge superior to that of our statesmen. 

Under the conditions from 1808 until now, what prudence, 
what indefatigable zeal, what sagacity, what rectitude were re- 
quired by our judges, and particularly by those of our courts or 
appeal, to fulfill their duties worthily? Imposing duties every- 
where, but certainly more difficult in a country where civil legis- 
lation had no fixity, and in the midst of such a population as 
ours. This population (let us Hot forget it) composed, and to be 
composed, for a long time undoubtedly of men of different origin, 
language, education, manners and prejudices. It changes and 
renews itself in some sort, from year to year ; and is constantly 
agitated in every sense to exploit the resources presented to all 

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186 , The Louisiana Historical Qtuirt^rly^ 

industries a^n^ to al,l ambitions by a country still Xi^W, ap.d abpye 
all, by this, great mart of all the rich products of the, va^t ^western 
regions of our; fine and powerful republic. .1 

, But prudence! Education and experience paay give it, if, 
besides these, one has been gifted by nature with an observing 
and just mind, ' 

.Zeal ! It would be difficult to deny that it depends, mpre or 
less, on this love of justice .which springs. only from a virtuous 
heart. . . : • 

Sanctity! , Rectitude of judgment!, Ah! , Frora^ Heaven 
only come gift3 so precious, so rare, so indi^ensable tQ the or- 
gans and interpretors of the law, that they. may. no,t frequently 
immolate innocence a^d equity in the august temple of justice, 
too of ten prpf aned by bad f ^ith. 

. What a loss does a country like ours incur when sounds the 
last hour of a judge who possessed to such a high degree the 
most invaluable qualities, and. who, during thirty years of duty 
never gave occasion for complaint or for a. reasonable reproach! 
This loss is a great and deplorable public calamity, the pi^mory 
of .which, pride ^nd presumption alone would boa3t.of effacing in 
a shoft while. < . j 

In old Europe, even in our time, notwithstanding the efforts 
of philosophy, subject to laws which emanate from and depend 
only on the will of a man seated on a throne, and decorated with 
the pompous title of duke, king or emperor, by the i grace of God, 
it is always the prince who is blessed, and to whom all thanks are 
rendered when. they enjoy the advantage of having & just and 
honest judge seated in a tribunal, and one who is penetrated with 
the hqhness of his duties, and ever disposed to render unto each 
what bplongs to him. There, wh^re ^n. education entirely in 
favor of th^ dominators and a long habit of submission , do not 
give men the facility of believing that, in givipg them existence, 
nature h^s endo^^ed them with some rights; th^r^, w;here,.to re- 
flect, and to reason is.^a crime, and to obey blindly is the first of 
virtiips, ,it i§, in some sort, natural to thank. a m^ste^. f or . not 
having pleased tp give, instead of a tru^ jijdge, one of those 
odious, , subaltern tyrants,, who believe tjiey. cannot serve him 
better, and better deseirve his, sovereign good, wiy, than in op- 
pre?sinj^, his subjects. , And . )»rh)^n, .inexorabjip. de^th s^iatchea a 
yirtupus judg^ .frpm.tji^e .lo;^ of , 3yhpm he,admi];ustew 

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George Mathews— Pres. of the Supreme Court of La. 187 

justice, it is plain that all carry their prayers and wishes to the 
foot of the throne, and implore what they call the clemency of his 
goodness, to replace the worthy magistrate, who is no more, by a 
successor as just, as enlightened, as worthy of the confidence 
of the weak and innocent. 

Amongst us. Gentlemen, where the holiest and the most glor- 
ious of revolutions has made of poor provinces, of feeble colonies 
oppressed by a metropolis as unjust as it is rich and. powerful, 
free, sovereign and independent states, which being united by a 
constitution which is the masterpiece of humi^n wisdom, have 
taken a high rank among the most civilized and the most flour- 
ishing nations of the earth. Amidst us, owing to enlightened 
philosophy and to the pure and ardent patriotism of the immor- 
tal founders of the grandest and most powerful republic of an- 
cient or modern times, the man of our race rises to the height of 
the natural dignity of his being, and, as a citizen, knov7s no other 
master but God and the law! Who shall we bless when the locales 
of justice will have been intrusted to stainless hands who held 
them so long without ever knowingly letting them lean towards 
despotism or iniquity? To whom shall we express our wishes 
that the judge who has <:eased to live be replaced by a judge, who 
as well as he, will deserve our esteem, our confidence and our 

Ah ! If all passions excepting the sacred love of public safe- 
ty were foreign to the hearts of the high functionaries to whom 
our fundamental pact has intrusted that forniidable as well as 
seducing power of nominating to positions; if these positions 
might never be given but to those who, by their enlightenment, 
their zeal, their virtues and their talents are most worthy to be 
called to them. Gentlemen, we could be free from alarm for the 
future. But pardon! I feel th^tthe word I was about to say, 
might be considered as a censi)r;6^ y^ich is far, very far from my 

If the depositaries of authority were not so frequently tor- 
mented, circumvented, the deceit of their solicitors playing on 
their human f raility to the point of depriving them of the faculty 
of seeing that, far from following the inspiration of reason, they 
are most frequently under a foreign and interested influence. 
If, when we, ourselves, solicit for our friends, or when we exer- 
cise our precious right of suffrage, we were truly worthy of the 

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188 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

noble title of citizen, with which we love to decorate ourselves, 
we would consult natight but public interest, we would then per- 
haps have the right to be severe> even inexorable when we see 
the proxies of the people regardless of what public good de- 
mands. But alas ! ! ! 

Oh! Let us abstain from all comments that Christian char- 
ity may forbid, and offer our most fervent prayers to the Eter- 
nal author of all good, that it may please him to imbue us more 
and more every day with the necessity of shedding all personal 
predilections for the public interest, and to rekindle in the 
depths of our hearts the love of our country without which there 
is neither citizen nor republic. Let us thank him for having so 
happily inspired, first, the illustrious Thomas Jefferson when 
George Mathews was commissioned Judge of the Superior Court 
of the Territory of Orleans, and then the Governor and the Sen- 
ate of the State, of Louisiana when they called this honest judge 
to the bench of our Supreme Court. Let us ask this same all 
powerful God to give us another proof of his protection in In- 
spiring our present virtuous Governor and our honorable Senate 
to make such a choice as will not only justify the confidence of 
the people, but which will also prevent our feeling more deeply 
each day the loss we have sustained. 

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By the Hon. Chaa. Watts, 
At the Request of the Members of the Bar of New Orleans. 

Brethem of the Bar, and Fellow Citizens of Louisiana : 

Upon the decease of any person of note, it was a custom 
among the ancient Egjrptians to institute an investigation into 
the life and character of the deceased, and to pass a sentence ot 
censure or approbation, according as he merited it, in relation to 
his public and private life. 

It may be considered as an emanation of this popular feel- 
ing, that at the present day, on the decease of any man who has 
deserved well of his fellow-citizens, they call for a review of his 
life and character. 

As funeral rites to the body assuage the grief, and gratify 
the affections of the relations and friends of a private person, so 
the public expression of the sentiments of respect, and venera- 
tion for the character of a man whose departure from life is felt 
as a public loss, and an analysis of the traits and qualities which 
called forth public esteem, is a discharge of some portion of the 
debt of public gratitude, and is an incentive to the honorable am- 
bition of those whose minds are so constituted as to find more 
happiness and satisfaction in serving their fellow-citizens, than in 
the attainment of the objects of a private and personal nature. 

To this source, I trace the resolution adopted at a meeting of 
the brethern in the profession of the late Judge Mathews, in pur- 
suance whereof we are now assembled, and in compliance with 
which, I shall proceed to lay before you such reflections on 
his life and character as suggest themselves to me. A deep 
participation in the general sentiment is all the qualification 

•Published in 10th Louisiana Reports, pp. iil-xv. 1837. The date on which 
the address was delivered is not shown, but it is almost certain it took place 
in January 1837, contemporaneously with Etienne Mazureau's panegyric on 
Judge Mathews. The scene may have been the court room of the Supremo 
Court, though this is not certain. 

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190 The Louisiana Historical Qtuirterly 

I possess for the trust assigned me, and I must crave your 
indulg^ence, if tHei pressing nature of my- daily avocations, 
has left me insufficient leisure to db justice to the 'honor 
conferred on me, and to a full and minute delineation of 
the character, conduct and life of a man so eminent, and who re- 
ceived so large a tribute of the public esteem and veneration. 

The most natural introduction to what I have to say on the 
life and character of Judge Mahews, will be to lay before you 
such particulars of his parentage, early life and private fortunes 
as on inquiry I have been able to procure. 

The subject of our discourse was born on the 21st September, 
1774, a f jBw miles below Staunton, in Augusta County, State of 
Virginia. , . . , . . : 

At the time of his births his father was absent on that me- 
morable expedition which was' terminated by the battle at the 
mouth of tl^e Great Kenhawa, on the 10th October, of the same 
year. He, was called George (the name pf his father) by his 
mother, who dpubted the return of her husband. 

From his birth until the age of ten year5, all. the educa- 
tion and instruction he received \yas from his mother, a lady dis- 
tinguished for her excellent mind and other qualities — liis father 
being absent the greater portion of that time in the service of his 

In, the year 1785, the. father of Judge Mathews removed to 
the State of Georgia with his family, and settled in what was 
th^n called Wilkes County,, afterwards called Oglethorpe, on 
Broftd River, at a place known as the Goose Ponds, at that time 
on the frontiers of Georgia, ;\yhere George Mathews remained 
until the ypar 1792, receiving pnly such instruction as frontier 
counties at that period affprded. 

In the year 1792, in the eighteenth year of his age, he re- 
turned to Virginia, and in 1794 became a member of an academy 
known as Liberty Hall, in the town of J^exington, Rockbridge 
County, where, during the years 1794-95, he finished his course 
of academical studies. 

In 1796, being then twenty-two years of age, he returned 
to Georgia, and commenced the study of the law with his eldest 
brother, John Mathews, with whom he continued until the year 
1798. In that year he went to the city of Augusta, and finished 

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Life and Characters of the Hon. Geo. Mathews 191 

his law studies with George Walker, one of the most eminent 
lawyers in the State.* ' 

In the year 1799, in his twenty-fifth year, he was admitted 
to the bar, and continued * the practice of law from that time 
until the year 1805, when, without any solicitation on his part, 
he was appointed by Thomas Jefferson, Judge of the Territory 
of Mississippi. From thence he was traniaf erred to the territory 
of Orleans in 1806, and on the erection of Louisiana into a State 
in 1812, he was appointed by Goviernor Claiborne, Judge of the 
Supreme Court of the State of liouisiana, and shortly after- 
wards, by the resignation of Judge Hall, took the place 6i presid- 
ing judge. This station iie filled till his decease oh'th^ 14th 
NoveiAber, 1836, in the sixty-tliird year of his agel ' 

Judge Mathews greatly attributed the formation of his char- 
acter and his success in life to the higli intelligence and excellent 
qiiaiities of his motliier, and the education and instruction he re- 
ceived fr6m her — and how ihany distinguished men, amopg whom 
may be named Washington and Napoleon, have expressed the 
most feiidei* gratitude for the influence and benefits of the ma- 
ternal culture of thfeir riiinds and fbrmatiori'of their character. 

"the prize for the best essay on morals was latjBly well be- 
stowed in t'rance on the production of Martih/ which treats of 
the education of women, or of the civilization of mankind by 
means of mothers of families. And let me assure tny young 
friends that if they wish to have ihtielligent arid* well educated 
children, they must give them intelligent and well educated 
mothers. And what a recompense it was, that, at the close of a 
long life, the son remembers with. gratitude and tenderness the 
benefits and instruction h^ received from his mother. It is only 
to our children we can piay the debt we bwe to 6ur parents. 

But if his mother was distinguished for the excellencies 
and proper qualities of a woman and a mother, his fkther was 
not less distiriguished for his heroic Virtues as a patriot, his lofty 
character and dieirvices as a citizeii, and his sbund judgment and 
excellent sense as a mati. 

We have seen that Colonel MatheWs was engaged in the 
campaign against the Indians, wliich terminated in that battle. 

♦ Young: Mathews had a great desire to follow the profession of medi- 
cine, but in £his wisli he was overruled by his father, whose discerning mind 
perceived that his- son's character was better adapted to the profession of law. 
He always, however, had a great fondness for medical studies. 

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192 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

memorable in our frontier warfare, at the mouth of the Ken- 
hawa, which entirely broke the power of the savage tribes, at 
the time that the subject of our discourse was born. Nor did his 
services end with this event. His valor and skill as a military 
man were duly appreciated by his fellow-citizens. He was 
placed at the head of a regiment of the Virginia line, in our revo- 
lutionary struggle with Gr^at Britain, and largely did he share 
in the danger and glory of that mighty undertaking. It is told 
of him, in history, that he acted a distinguished part on the 
occasion of the battle of Germantown, when our great com- 
mander attacked the British army. The attack was made early 
in the morning — the battle ground consisted of fields intersected 
with fences and stone walls — ^there was a dense fog. When the 
order of attack was given. Colonel Mathews, at the head of his 
regiment, made a furious onset over ground entangled with 
fences, and forced the British lines. One part of the American 
army fell into some confusion, which prevented a complete vic- 
tory, and an order to retreat was given. 

Colonel Mathews either did not receive the order to retreat, 
or in the obscurity of the fog, and led on by the fury of his 
charge, advanced so far beyond the American line, as to get in 
the r^ar of the British army — and there he was left, cut off from 
his compatriots, when the American army retired, On this occa- 
sion he was taken prisoner. 

He was equally distinguished for his civic virtues and ser 
vices. Not long after he removed to Georgia, he was elected 
governor, of that State, and received the praise of being one of 
the best governors in the United States, from that most cynical 
of men, the celebrated John Randolph, 

Governor Mathews afterwards removed to the neighborhood 
of Natchez, in the Territory of Mississippi where he afterwards 
died at an advanced age. 

From such ancestors was descended the late Judge Mathews 
— and if it be not altogether true, that virtues and vices are he- 
reditary, yet from a mother possessing so many excellent qualities, 
and a father so distinguished for his civil and military virtues, 
a son could not fail to derive sentiments and a character, which 
would stamp him as a useful citizen. 

How strong is the incentive to virtue and honorable conduct, 
if we realized the effect of example on our children, and would 

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Life and Characters of the Hon. Geo. Mathews 193 

entertain no sentiments, contract no habits, and commit no ac- 
tions which we do not wish our children to imitate. 

Another fact is important in the life of Judge Mathews. I 
have said that he continued his academical pursuits till the age 
of twenty-two, and was not admitted to the bar till he was 
twenty-five years of age. I cannot but think that maturity of 
mind and body, before embarking in the pursuits of life, has a 
great tendency in forming a sound mind and character, and in 
giving solidity to the judgment and understanding. 

It ia also to be observed that Judge Mathews practised his 
profession for a very short time. He was appointed a judge at 
the age of thirty. In ancient France, men were educated to the 
office of magistrates — and perhaps this is the best means of mak- 
ink good judges. Men who have been long engaged in the prac- 
tice of the profession, unless they possess unusual candor of 
mind, identify themselves too much with their clients, acquire the 
habit of regarding only one side of a question, and hence are apt 
to lose sight of the abstract principles of justice — more especially 
men of great ingenuity, who delight more in the exercise of that 
ingenuity than in the perception of justice. Too often such 
men, even on the bench, display their ingenuity in supporting one 
side of a question, or in answering the arguments urged on the 
opposite side, rather than in analysing and weighing the prin- 
ciples of law and justice which ought to produce the decision. 
These false habits of mind are more easily avoided when the 
lawyer early becomes the judge. 

There are some men who seem naturally fitted and destined 
by the constitution of their minds, for the station of judges. 
Men who possess great candor; in whom judgment is the pre- 
dominating faculty ; and to whom the pursuit and attainment of 
justice affords the highest mental gratification. Such appears 
to have been the character and constitution of mind of the late 
Judge Mathews. 

A review of the peculiar difficulties of the station he was 
so early called to fill, and the manner in which he acquitted him- 
self of its duties, will make this manifest. Appointed at the age 
of thirty to discharge the duties of a judge, according to a sys- 
tem of law with which he could have had no previous acquaint- 
ance, a knowledge of which was locked up in languages, to which 

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194 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

a man, inland bred, as he was, must have been a stranger, and on 
which even books were scarce, his mind must have been fre- 
quently thrown back upon itself in the decisions he was called 
upon to make. Notwithstanding these difficulties, tne very able 
bar which had emigrated to Louisiana, from the east and from 
the west, and from across the ocean, attest the uniform ability 
and correctness of his decisions, even in the early period of his 
magistracy. Let it be remembered that he was appointed to 
preside over a people who were aliens to the government; who 
felt uneasy at being transferred to a new sovereignty without 
their consent, and were jealous of strangers; that he had to 
administer justice under laws of Spanish and French origin and 
colonial legislation, and yet he succeeded in obtaining? the con- 
fidence, esteem and respect of all classes. 

The period between the appointment of Judge Mathews and 
the adoption of the Constitution, and to the close of the war with 
England, must be an interesting one in the history of the feelings 
of the colonists of Louisiana ; and, with this period of time. Judge 
Mathews was intimately connected, visiting every part of the 
state in his circuits, and presenting a scene new to the people 
among whom it was acted. No one but a person who was an 
actor can adequately describe it. My own arrival in the state 
was long subsequent to these events ; and the gentleman who ad- 
dressed you in French, and who was a participator in the events 
of that period, has given you some account of it, and of the 
share of Judge Mathews in its occurrence. 

My personal acquaintaince with Judge Mathews commenced 
in the year 1822, when I found him presiding in the Supreme 
Court of the state. He was then in the vigor of his faculties, 
and in high physical health, and took upon him a full share of the 
business of the court. He possessed great quickness of mind, 
readily seizing upon the difficulties and disputed points of a 
case. He was patient in listening to whatever could be urged in 
the way of argument or illustration, but his mind was too clear 
to be led astray by sophistry or ingenuity. 

Judge Mathews was a great lover of justice; and if it was 
possible in any manner* to reach the justice of a case without 
violating fixed principles of law, he would always do so. The 
nature of civil law jurisprudence requires of a judge to refer 

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Life and Characters of the Hon. Geo. Mathews 195 

back to the principles of law applicable to the facts of the case, 
rather than rest the decision on precedents, or the authority of 
other decided cases; and this is surely the correct mode of ad- 
ministering justice where law is reduced to a science and ita 
principles collected in elementary works; for, if the cases are 
analogous, the principles invoked in the previous case ought alone 
to be the reason for deciding the subsequent ones. As a celebrated 
chancellor of England, having one of his own decisions pressed 
upon him as authority, exclaimed, "Do not tell me how I decided — 
tell me why I so decided." This species of jurisprudence, there- 
fore, admirably suited the mind of Judge Mathews, for the 
Civil Law is the very essence and source of equitable jurispru- 

If, by learning, be meant an original intimate acquaintance 
with all the books in his profession, Judge Mathews, no more 
than his distinguished prototype. Judge Marshall, could be said 
to be a learned lawyer; but he possessed a perfect familiarity 
Avith elementary writers, and having embodied the principles of 
the science of law with his own perceptions, it was not difficult 
for him to work out and deduce the proper result by the opera- 
tions of his own mind, on the materials it possessed; and an 
early familiarity with the Latin language, and with French and 
Spanish afterwards acquired, enabled him, when his investiga- 
tions called for their examination, to avail of the aid of the J)est 
writers in the original languages. 

The minds and professional character of judges and lawyers 
may be divided into two different classes. There is one class 
who know the profession of law as a result of memory; who store 
their minds with authorities, cases and dicta, and, when called 
to act in their profession, rely on books, cases and authorities, 
and are nothing without them. They know law as the student 
learned mathematics, by committing Euclid to memory, with- 
out being able to explain the principles on which any one propo- 
sition is demonstrated. Among this class of the profession may 
usually be ranked those who have been deprived of an early reg- 
ular education, or have taken up the profession late in life, and 
also, those who are naturally deficient in the organ of intellec- 
tual system and arrangement. With this class of persons, law 
is not a system, but an undigested mass of particulars, without 
arrangement, connection, or dependence. 

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196 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

There is another class who embody the principles of the 
science with their own perceptions, and mix them up with their 
elements of thought, and when called upon to give an opinion, 
their decisions are the results of the operations of their own 

With the first class, law is an effort of memory of what has 
been said, written or decided by others ; or, frequently, no more 
than a knowledge of the books which treat on the different sub- 
jects of the science; with the other class, law is an emanation of 
their own minds, and they speak as being authorities themselves. 

Such was eminently the case with the late Chief Justice 
Marshall, whose decisions required no authorities to support 
them, and such also was the character of the judicial mind of the 
late Judge Mathews. 

Neither judges nor courts are infallible, but the character 
of mind of judges as well as their knowledge, has much effort on 
the general soundness and correctness of the conclusions at which 
they arrive. 

If we examine the decisions delivered by Judge Mathews, ana 
which it must be considered were left principally to his own in- 
vestigation, it will be found that the decision is almost without 
exception, in accordance with sound reason, with law and With 

In all the judgments delivered by him the case is analysed 
with a view to exhibit the various relations of the rights of the 
parties, and the decision is deduced like a mathematical proposi- 
tion, from the relation which those rights and duties bear to each 
. other. This decision was not delivered in a dry, hard and repul- 
sive form — in which it was difficult to perceive the steps which 
led from the premises to the conclusion. It was deduced in a 
clear, methodical and lucid manner, which was easily followed, 
and ended in giving satisfaction to the understanding. 

The composition of his decisions is neat and elegant — ^his lan- 
guage pure and correct — the sentences .are well put together, and 
the style fluent, rising sometimes to a chastened eloquence, which 
is the only kind the decisions of a court admit of. 

Judge Mathews possessed in an eminent degree that great 
essential requisite quality in a judge, firm and unbending integ- 
rity, which drew to him the public confidence. It is wonderful 

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Life and Characters of the Hon. Geo. Mathews 197 

how much sound morality contributes to produce sound judgment 
and sound intellect. Whether in law, politics, legislation, or any 
other subject — the instinct, as some would call it, of an honest, 
uneducated and even ignorant man, will lead him to adopt right 
conclusions and opinions, whilst the intellect of the most educated 
and talented, when at alh affected by interest or passions, will 
lead them astray on the plainest subjects. In this sense it is true 
that vox populi, est vox Dei. For although the people may be 
misled by passion and prejudice to commit rash actions, their ulti- 
mate opinions and conclusions are always right — for no personal 
interest warps and blinds their judgment and perceptions, as is 
too generally the case with those who assume to lead in life. 

To a mind not corroded by the passions, or harrassed by 
cares and disquietudes, the business of judging is not difficult. 
The difficulty is to find the man well educated in his profession 
not goaded by ambition or the lust of wealth, free from cares, 
and willing to devote himself to serve the public in this capacity 
— and such a man is the highest gift of the providence of God 
to a people. In all these respects, as well as in the possession 
of a natui'ally sound judgment and discriminating mind. Judge 
Mathews greatly excelled. He did not discover justice solely by 
the penetration of his mind, but also by a certain instinct, and 
his heart moved towards it as towards a beloved object. The 
passions which troubled others did not affect him. Without am- 
bition, he seemed wholly devoted to discharge the high functions 
of a minister of justice. 

To these admirable qualities as a judge, was ignited the 
most amiable exterior. The spirit of domination not reigning 
within him, did not manifest itself in his deportment. His mild- 
ness, amiability and patience became the station of a judge, and 
sometimes a dryly humorous remark, relieved the heaviness o^ 
legal discussion. 

The members of the bar will never forget that venerable and 
patriarchal head and countenance on which were depicted benev- 
olence, intelligence and goodness— that patient attention, aided 
by a quick perception of the real points of controversy which 
was given to every one who addressed him. Every advocate felt 
that he was appealing for justice not only to the living oracl^ of 
law, but to the impersonation of justice herself. In addition to 

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198 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

these excellent qualities he presided with great dignity on the 
bench, and commanded the respect of all who approached him.* 

Judge Mathews inherited but little property from his father, 
and his fortune, ample at the time of his decease, was the result 
of his economy and judicious management. He always lived in a 
retired manner, without any extravagance or ostentation, yet 
without denying himself any thing that his fortune enabled him 
to attain, or that his station required. Happy in his family, his 
whole life was accompanied by a prosperity of that modern na- 
ture, which, without dazzling the mind, or corrupting the heart, 
diffuses a pure and tranquil feeling, which constitutes the hap- 
piness of the wise and the good. He was cheerful and lively 
in private life, and his conversation was tinged with a vein of 
humor which greatly enlivened his society. 

Such was the man whom it pleased Providence* to send to 
preside over Louisiana in her infant condition, and such was 
the man who is felt to be an irreparable loss to the State. I 
fear that amidst the distractions and dissipations of active life, 
we do not sufficiently consider how great and good a man is lost 
to us. 

Let us pause, look around, and ask each other how many are 
there qualified to fill the important station lately occupied 
by Judge Mathews, so honorably to himself, so usefully to the 
public. How many are there in whose integrity, talents, honor 
and knowledge, the citizens of Louisiana will repose with the 
same confidence the high duties of administering justice in the 
last resort, as they felt in Judge Mathews. In whom will be 
found united the same capacity, soundness of judgment, talents, 
purity of character, amiability of disposition, simplicity of life 
and venerable aspect. 

The duties of a judge are those of painful responsibility, 
even when supported by a consciousness of rendering great pub- 
lic service. It is his duty as a minister of justice to look to the 
God of Justice for guidance, direction and assistance. It has 
been well said, Judicare est orare, that to judge is to pray, for 
there ought to rest upon the mind a solemn religious sense of 
duty, in meting out justice among our fellow men. It is an aw- 

• In his personal appearance Judge Mathews was of the middle stature, 
and constitutionally disposed to corpulence, which even much exercise could 
not repress. His countenance was always placid, with a lurking expression of 
humor, indicating playfulness of mind, ajid a di^k>08ltion to repartee, and many 
excellent ones are told of him. 

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Life and Characters of the Hon. Geo. Mathews 199 

ful and responsible duty, and those who most feel its responsi- 
bility, least aspire to court its labors. Yes, fellow-citizens, the 
station and office of a Judge of the Supreme Court, of a court 
of last resort, is, in any country, an honorable, and important, 
and a difficult station. It is emphatically and peculiarly so in 
Louisiana. The Court is entrusted with a revision of the rights 
of parties, not only on all branches of the law, but also as to 
questions of fact, and in the complication and conflict of Spanish, 
French, English and American law, and by reason of the various 
legislative enactments, to modify and adapt them to our political 
and social institutions and feelings, much delicate responsibility, 
and great extent of power have devolved on the judiciary — and 
in that branch of the administration of the government, it was 
and is peculiarly necessary to have honorable, upright and in- 
flexible men, in whose judgment, capacity, integrity and power 
of discrimination, his fellow-citizens should repose with implicit 
confidence. If the public do not repose with confidence in the 
integrity, ability, virtue and character of the judges, there will 
exist a restlessness, a vague apprehension of evil, an uncertainty 
and discontent, which poisons and embitters the enjoyment of 
life — more particularly with a people so sensible of and justly 
valueing their personal, political and social rights, as are the 
citizens of republican America. 

It is this confidence and the consciousness of usefulness, and 
not the slender compensation, which rewards the judge and 
sustains him under his load of labor and responsibility. How 
important then is a just discharge of the duties of this high sta- 
tion. How important that the persons who fill it should possess 
the public confidence. How transcendently honorable and 
praiseworthy must be the life and character of that man, who, 
on closing a career of thirty years in such a station, receives the 
unanimous approbation, commendation and regret of his fellow- 
citizens of all classes, ranks and parties, among a population com- 
posed of the descendants of the nations of France and Spain, and 
ot emigrants from every state in the Union. 

The regret felt on the tidings of the decease of the late Judge 
Mathews manifested how fully his character and conduct re- 
ceive the general approbation — ^the approbation of all Louisiana* 
It was the regret of the fathers of the land for a brother — a man 
whom they had known from early youth — whose virtues and 

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200 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

character were their study for the whole of a past age. It was 
the grief of the men of active life at the loss of a friend — of a 
counsellor of the state. It was the grief of those just entering 
life at the loss of a father — a guide and an example. It was the 
grief of the whole community at the loss of an honorable and 
upright magistrate. 

Truly and eloquently is it expressed in the resolutions passed 
by the members of the bar, "That they deeply deplore the death 
of the Honorable George Mathews, late presiding judge of the 
Supreme Court of this state. 

"That they consider, that in him society has lost a virtuous 
citizen, the state an able and upright judge, and the profession 
one of its brightest ornaments ; and that the rectitude and ability 
with which, during a long series of years, the deceased has dis- 
charged the arduous duties of the most important and respon- 
sible station kno^Ti to a republican government, entitle his mem- 
ory to the respect and veneration of his countrymen." 

Upon this review of the life and character of Judge Math- 
ews,, I proceed to pass a judgment which will be confirmed by 
this assembly, and by all Louisiana, — ^that the name and repu- 
tation of Judge Mathews shall pass down with the early history 
of the state, as of one beloved for his virtues as a man, honored 
for his seryices as a citizen, and distinguished and revered for 
his talents, integrity, judgment and usefulness as a magistrate. 
That he possessed the unbounded respect, esteem, confidence and 
veneration of Louisiana, during his life, and the heartfelt regret 
and grief of his fellow-citizens were testified at his death. 

May this feeble portrait and testimony to his life and char- 
acter, serve as an incentive to us and our children to love, re- 
spect and revere the name of Judge Mathews, and, above all, to 
imitate his virtues. That although all cannot attain to the same 
degree of distinction and usefulness, yet every one may possess 
the conscious satisfaction of having in his day and generation, 
and to the extent of his talents and opportunities, deserved well 
of the Republic* 

♦ Judge Mathews was twice married; first to Sarah Carpenter, of the 
Territory of Mississippi, in 1808, of which marriage only one child survived, 
now the wife of Captain William H. Chace, of the United States Engineers, 
.and a second time to Harriet Flower, of which marriage only one child, a boy 
of twelve years of age, survived. A few days before the decease of Judge 
Mathews, this youth received the contents of his own gun in his right arm by 
Imprudently thrusting the butt of the gun into the bushes to frighten .out the 
game, ft was at first apprehended he would lose the arm, but this misfor- 
tune was avoided. This accident never came to the knowledge of his father. 

Digitized by 



From Cabildb Archives, Louisiana. 
Edited by Henry P. Dart. 

Ordinance of Governor Unzaga Requiring Meohanica to Attend Fires and 

Prescribing Penalties for Neglect of Rule Concerning 

Chimnies and Open Fires. 

This ordinance is undated but being French we locate it in the 
period shortly after O'Reilly's "conquest" when French was still 
used in the public proclamations. It shows the primitive condition 
of New Orleans as to fire protection and is interesting as a speci- 
men of Spanish laws and legislation by the Executive. 

The translation is by Mrs. H. H. Cruzat and is followed by the 

Ordinance of Gov. Unzaga Concerning Fires. 

Don Luis de Unzaga y Amezaga, Colonel in His Majesty's armies, 
Intendant of Finances and Governor General of this Pro- 
vince of Louisiana: 

Be it known to all citizens and inhabitants that sad experience 
having shown us the little inclination existing among private in- 
dividuals to lend the necessary help in case of need> on the occasion 
of fire, and the lack of promptitude in hastening to help, being 
unprovided with the proper objects suited to that purpose, such 
as ladders, axes, gaffs, pick-axes and buckets, the indifference to 
the rights of humanity and the want of foresight for their own 
interests, the evil being liable to spread, and above all the small 
number of persons assembling to cut off the danger of confla- 
grations, our attention to watch over*all the subjects of this gov- 
ernment and to give our utmost care to their happiness and tran- 
quility, though we do not suppose that any of them be sufficient- 
ly discouraged to refuse to adhere to the natural obligation of 
preventing the evils which might befall them, however, we have 
deemed it urgent to have recourse to the most efficacious means 

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202 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

which prudence can dictate, by encouraging those inspired by an 
ardent zeal for the public good, and by punishng those who ob- 
stinately and inhumanly refuse to extend the necessary succor to 
arrest the progress of the flames in consequence of which, we have 
exhorted, incited and do exhort and incite, and, for greater safety, 
order and command: 

That at the first sound of the bells which will ring with that 
of the principal guard-house to notify that there is a fire, all the 
carpenters and joiners of this town, be they whites or negroes, 
slaves of private houses, shall hasten punctually and promptly 
with axes, gaffs, pick-axes, and clubs to the place where fire has 
broken out, to cut and throw down entirely, or in part, the build- 
ing in danger of burning, as need be, conformably to the intention 
which guides them in rendering so important a service to the'r 
country, under penalty of imprisonment and a fine of one ducat 
for the whites and other free men who will fail to attend. 

It is likewise ordered that all citizens, without exception, be 
held to have in their houses ladders, buckets, axes, pick-axes, gaffs 
ready for use in case of an emergency, under penalty for the 
delinquent of a fine of four ducats, and one of five ducats for their 
negro slaves who will fail to hasten to help in extinguishing the 
fire, the said fines applicable to the purposes of justice. 

Moreover, we order and ordain that all proprietors of houses 
repair their chimneys and put them in safe condition, and we 
prohibit the lighting of fires in the centre of houses or cabins; 
where there are no chimneys, we order that they be built imme- 
diately, under penalty of having them built at owners' expense. 

Ordered that the present be read, published to the beat of the 
drum, and posted in the customary placeg of this town. 

,Given in our Government House, at New Orleans, 
Signed: "Luis de Unzaga y Amezaga". 

"By order of His Lordship." 
"Signed : "Garic, Government Scrivener." 

Original Text: 

Ordinance of Gov. Unzaga Concarning Firaa. 

Don Luis de Unzaga y Amezaga, Colonel des Armies de Sa 
Majesty, Intendant des Finances et Gouverneur General de 
cette Province de la Louisiane : 

Digitized by 


Fire Protection in Unzaga's Time 203 

Scavoir faisons a tous citoyens et habitans que la triste ex- 
perience nous ayant fait apercevoir du peu de disposition qui 
regne dans le particulier a donner les secours necessaires et au 
besoin lors de quelque incendie, de la foible promptitude a y ac- 
courir sans estre muni des objects propres et convenables, comme 
des echelles, baches, gaffes, pics et sceaux : de Tindif f erence aux 
droits de Thumanite et du peu de pr6voyance a ses propres in- 
terests, le mal pouvant devenir commun, et enf in du peu de monde 
qui s'assemble pour couper court au danger dans les incendies, 
notre attention a veiller et a donner tous nos soins au bonheur et 
a la tranquilite d etous les sujects de ce gouvernment, malgre que 
nous ne presumions point que quique ce soit puisse estre assez d6- 
courage pour se refuser a Tobligation naturelle de pr^venir les 
maux qui pourroieilt fondre sur luy; nous avons cru nonobstant 
devoir pratiquer les moyens les plus efficaces que la prudence 
puisse dieter en encourageant ceux qu'un zelle ardent pour le bien 
public attire, et en punissant ceux obstines qui se refuseront in- 
humainement a donner les secours necessaires pour eviter les 
progres des ^ammes, en consequence de quoy, nous avons exhorte, 
incite, exhortons et incitons, et pour la plus grande surete, ordon- 
nons et mandons qu'au premier son des cloches qui sonneront, y 
jointe celle du corps de garde principal, pour avertir du feu tous 
les charpantiers, menuisiers de cette ville, soit blancs ou negres, 
les esclaves des maisons particuli&res, ayent a accourir precize- 
ment et promptement avec des haches, gaffes, pics et massues aux 
endroits ou le feu aura pris pour couper et abattre en tout ou en 
partie, le batiment qui sera dans le cas de bruler, suivant ce qui 
sera n6cessaire et conformement a Tintention qui les dirigera de 
rendre un service si distingue a la patrie, a peine pour les gens 
blancs et autres libres qui manqueront, de qunze jours de prison 
et d'un ducat d'amende. 

Ordonnons pareillement que tous les citoyens, sans exception, 
seront tenus d'avoir dans leurs maisons des 6chelles, sceaux, (i) 
haches, pics ou gaffes prets au besoin dans les cas pressants, a 
peine contre le delinquant de quatre ducats d'amende,. et de cinq 
ducats pour leurs negres esclaves qui manqueront d'accourir au 
secours, les dites amendes applicables aux peines de justice. 

Mandons et ordonnons en outre a tous proprietaires des 
maisons de reparer leurs chemin^es et de les mettre en etat, et de- 
fandons a tous gen6ralement quelconques de faire du feu dans le 

Digitized by 


204 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

milieu des maisons ou cabanes ; ou il n V auroit point de cheminee 
leur ordonnons d'en faire construire incessamment, a peine centre 
ceux-ci de le faire faire a leurs depens. Et ordonnons que le 
present sera lue, publie au bruit du tambour, et affiche aux lieux 
accoutum6s de cette ville. 

Donne en notre Hotel du Gouvernement, a la Nouvelle Or- 

Luis de unzaga y Amezaga. Par mandement de 

Sa Seigneurie 
Garic, Ecrivain du 
(i) sceaux meant for seaux — pails or buckets. 
Sceaux (seals). 

Digitized by 



From Cabildo Records. New Orleans, 
Edited by Henry P. Dart. 

O'Reilly took formal possession of the colony of Louisiana 
for Spain August 18th, 1769, and immediately despatched orders 
to the different posts to administer the oath of allegiance to the 
inhabitants or to send representatives to take it in their name 
before him. At Pointe Coupee it was administered Sept. 10 and 
in Illinois Nov. 19th of the same year. The Spanish portion of 
Illinois was governed by Louis St. Ange de Bellerive, who had 
transferred to the English the portion allotted to them by the 
treaty of Paris. The Spanish flag had floated over Illinois under 
Ulloa and St. Ange was highly respected by the Spanish Envoy, 
who deputed him to act in his name on this important occasion. 

ji. M. C 

No. I. 

Oath of Allegiance to the King of Spain Taken by the Inhabitants of Illinois 
Before Lous 8t. Ange de Bellerive. 

Translation : 

In the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine, on 
this nineteenth of November, we, Louis St. Ange de Bellerive, 
Captain, commanding the Spanish colony at Illinois, ceded by His 
Most Christian Majesty to His Catholic Majesty, by virtue of the 
orders addressed to us by His Excellency, My Lord O'Reilly, Com- 
mander of Benfayan, of the Order of Alcantara, Lieutenant 
General and Inspector General of His Catholic Majesty's armies, 
Captain General and Governor of the Province of Louisiana, in 
consequence of the act of possession which we have just taken of 
the said colony in the name of his said Catholic Majesty, 

We order that all subjects of this colony who wish to remain 
here under the domination of His said Majesty, take the oath of 
allegiance which He demands, and on the moment, being as- 

Digitized by 



The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

sembled in the Chamber of the said Government, we made them 
take the oath of fidelity as follows, viz : 

That they promise and swear to God and to His Catholic 
Majesty to be fathful to him and to sacrifice their lives for his 
service, to warn him or his commandants of anything coming to 
their knowledge prejudicial to his state or to the support of his 
crown and of his person, and to live under the laws it shall please 
His said Catholic Majesty to impose on them, to all of which sub- 
mitted those hereafter named whose names are hereafter desig- 
nated and marked : 







Aug. Chouteau. 


francois Le Page. 


Antoine Berard 

Laclede Liguest. 






Jh Second. 

Rene Kiercereau. 


Malhieux laborde. 

Jean Baptiste Montigna. 





Francois Denoyer. 


Jacques Dennis. 


Gille Chemin. 

Names under ordinary marks: 

Louis Marchetaud 
Charles Roulier 
Joseph Denoyer 
Jacques Laby 
Jn Bte Provencher 
Fr Gervais 
Pierre Sans Soucie 
J. Bte Pety 
Antoine Rivard 
Jacques Noise 
Pierre La Croix 
Louis Letourneau 
Pierre Bequet 
Toussaint Hunaud 
Toussant Hunaud 
Pierre Balin 
Charles Parant 

Alexis Rivard 
J. Bte Gamache 
Louis Chancellier 
Isidore Peltier 
Louis Lirete 
Jh Mainville 
Paul Kiercereau 
Antoine Rousset 
Pierre Gagnon 
Fr Thibaut 
J. Bte Savois 
Fr Delin 
Fr Bissonet 
Jh Taillon 
Baltasar Aillot 
Fr Corneau 
Louis Ride 

Digitized by 


The Oath of Allegiance to Spain 207 

Louis La Roche J. Bte Dechamp 

J. Bte Langoumois Louis Deshetre* 

Louise Honore Tesson Nicolas Boujeneau 

I certify that this is a true copy of the original which is in 
my hands. At St. Louis, Nov. 23, 1769. 

Signed: "St. Ange." 


L'An Mil sept Cent soixante neuf ce dix neuf novembre nous 
louis de St. Ange de Bellerive, Capitaine Commandant La Colonic 
espagnole aux Illinois, Ceddee par Sa Majeste Tres Chretienne a 
a Sa Majesty Catholique en vertu des ordres a nous adresses par 
son excellence Monseigneur 'oreilly Commandeur de Benfayan 
dans Tordre d'alcantara lieutenant general et inspecteur general 
des armees de Sa Majeste Catholique Capitaine General et Gouver- 
neur de la Province de la Louisianne, En Consequence de Facte de 
Possession que Nous venons de prendre de la ditte Colonie des 
illinois au Nom de Sa ditte Majeste Catholique 

NOUS ORDONNONS a tous les dits sujets de cette Colonie 
qui Voudront y rester sous la domination de Sa ditte Majeste de 
Preter le Serment de fid61ite qu'elle Exige, et a Tinstant Etant as- 
sembles en la Chambre du dit Gouvernement Nous leur avons fait 
f aire le serment de f idelite ainsi qu'il suit, SC AVOIR : 

QU'IL PROMETTENT ET JURENT a Dieu et a Sa Majeste 
Catholique de lui etre fidele et sacrifier leur vie pour son service 
Lavertir ou ses Commandants de tout ce qui pourroit Parvenir a 
leur Connoissance au Prejudice de Son Etat, ou Soutient de Sa 
couronne et de sa Personne et de vivre sous les Loix qu'il plaira a 
Sa ditte Maj-este Catholique de leur imposer Et a quil les dits de- 
nommes Cy apres se sont Soumis, et dont les nomes sont cy apres 
design6s et marques — 


Labuxiere. hivon 

Baron. Jh second 

Conde. Rene Kiercereau 

Dubreuil. Dodie 

Sarpy. Malhieux laborde 

Aug. Chouteau. Jean Baptiste de Montigna. 

Laville. hervieux 

Digitized by 



The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

f rancois Le Page^ 



Laclede Liguest. 








Francois Denoyer 


Jacques Dennis 


Gille Chemin 

Noms sous marque ordinaires 

Louis Marchetaud 
Charles Roulier 
Joseph Denoyer 
Jacques laby 
Jn Bte Provericher 
Fr Gervais 
Pierre Sans Soucie 
J Bte Pety 
Antone Rivard 
Jacques Noise 
Pierre La Croix 
Louis letourneau 
Pierre Bequet 
Toussaint hunaud 
Toussaint hunaud 
Pierre Blain 
Charles Parant 
Louis La Roche 
J. Bte Langoumois 
Louis Honore Tesson 

Alexis Rivard 
J. Bte Gamache 
Louis Chancellier 
Isidore Peltier 
Louis Lirete 
Jh Mainville 
Paul Kiercereau 
Antoine Rousset 
Pierre Gagnon 
fr Thibaut 
J Bte Savois. 
f r Delin 
f r Bissonet 
Jh Taillon 
Baltasar aillot 
f r Corneau 
Louis Ride 
J. Bte Dechamp 
Louis Deshetre 
Nicolas Boujeneau 

Pour copie que je certif ie conf orme a L'original que est entre 
mes mains. A St. Louis le 23 9bre 1769. 

St Ange. 

No. IL 

Oath of Allegiance to the Spanish Government by the Inhabitants of 
Pointe Coupee and "Fausse Riviere", Sept. 10, 1769. 

Translation : 

Under the Government of Don Alexander O'Reilly, Commander 
of Benfayen, of the Order of Alcantara, Lieutenant General 
and Inspector General of the armies of His Catholic Majesty 
Captain General of the Province of Louisiana. 

Digitized by 


The Oath of Allegiance to Spain 


We, the undersigned, and all others from Pointe Coupee and 
False River, now assembled by order of the King in presence of 
M. Duplessis, Knight of the Royal and Military Order of St* 
Louis, Captain, commanding for the King at the said post and of 
M. Alain, captain of Militia. 

We give full power to MM. Allain, George Baron and other 
notables of this establishment to take in our name, and in the 
usual form, the oath of allegiance to His Catholic Majesty. 

We promise from this time and swear fidelity, zeal and obe- 
dience to His Catholic Majesty, recognizing that we are his sub- 
jects and as such held to conform to all that may be ordered and 
prescribed on the part of His said Majesty. 

By so doing we hope to become worthy of his favor and au- 
gust protecton which we have been fortunate enough not to for- 

At Pointe Coupee, Sept. 10, 1769. 

X mark of Jean Cava. 


X mark of Vincent Cava, 

X mark of Simon Piague. 

J, Batis Legros. 

Jh Bourgeat. 

X mark of Joseph Mior. 

Mchel Riekcr. 

P. Jarreau. 

G. Lamothe. 

Pierre Guebo. 

X mark of Rousseau. 

Jacques Halluys Derabun Subt. 

X mark of Sr Desantel. 

J. Porche. 

Auguste Langlois D'Ormaro. 

X mark of Joseph Porche. 

J. Lafleur. 

Joseph Patin. - 

X mark of Bte La Fleur. 

X mark of Antoine Patey. 

X mark of Sr Claise. 

A. H. Allain, son. 



X mark of Sieur La Cour. 

Joseph Turbert. 

J. B. Lacour. 

A. Metede. 

X mark of Jean Toussin. 


Antoine Bordelon. 


X mark of Antoine Poupard 

A. Olivier. 

Jean Stephen. 


Philipe Dagnieau. 

Benoit Md. 

Phe Guichard, 

Messonnie B. C. 


sheriff and cryer 

Le Doux, son. 

Rivard de Rieutard 

X mark of Milan the elder. 

King's store. 

Francois Mayeux. 

X mark of S. Emond. 

X mark of Sr Jean Decuir. 

Emond, son. 

Francois Decuir 

Louis Dezzerre. 

Joseph Decuir. 


Francois Le Geay. 

Digitized by 



The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 



X mark of Verdon. 

Aubin de Gallory. 

X mark of P. Dervus. 

P. Carmon. 

V pd 

Jean n t 

Surircup Zarue 
X mark of Rendon 
Pierre Ducote. 
Pieer Ducote. 
Joseph Carmane. 
H. Peyroux. 
G. Olivo. 
Madir, Surgeon major of the 

X mark of Sr Estienne major 
Allain son, Ofc'r of Militia 
X mark of Pierre Major 
X mark of Jean Major 
X mark of Andre Olivo. 
S. Armadic- 
F. Jorlait. 

X mark of Pierre Olivo. 

X mark of La Vigueur. 
Antoine Prevot. 
X mark of Sr. Leonnard. 
X Martin Commagere. 

X mark of Louis Marie 
Joseph Collete. 
X mark of J. Himel. 
X mark of La Ville. 
X mark of Louis Destalles. 
X mark of Claude Destalles. 
X mark of Michel Lejeune. 
X mark of Charles Lejeune. 
X mark of Sr Du Gue. 
X mark of Joseph Janisse. 

Paul Moro. 
Martin Moro. 
Joseph Roy. 

Noel R z 

Jh Oderu. 

X mark of Sr Gaudoz. 

X mark of Pierre Romain. 

X Joseph Malus. 

X mark of Sr Ncolas Lacour. 

X mark of Pierre Cuvillier. 

X mark of Pierre Morin. 

Tous saint Truberdean. 

X mark of Augustin Gamache. 

X mark of Claude Jommeau. 

X mark of Pierre Geoff rion. 

Mark of Bap. La Cour. 

X Leyoy. 

X mark of Smon Le noine. 

X mark of Joseph Geoff rion 

Jacque Firmain Sere. 

X mark of Re Gallot. 

X mark of Josef Gallot 

X mark of Jean Assailly. 

X mark of Francois Moron. 

X mark of Pierre Moron. 

X mark of Francois Moron. 

X mark of Pierre Larches. 

X mark of Pierre Landremon. 

X mark of Louis Huet. 

X mark of Francois Deperata. 

X mark of Fee Rixner. 

X mark of Andre Rocheau 

X mark of Joseph Jof rion. 

X mark of Sr Huzerian. 

X mark of Jacque Gobe 

X mark of Armand Morin. 

Jacque Honhae. 

X mark of Francois Meru. 

X mark of Perrot. 

Nicolas Belage 

X mark of Charles Robillard. 

S. L. Ducrost. 

X mark of Joseph Wills. 


X Antoine Guashevaud. 

X mark of Sr Pernat. 

X mark of Sr. Estienne. 

X mark of Estienne, son. 

Digitized by 


The Oath of Allegiance to Spain 211 

X mark of Augustin Porche. X mark of Louis Lamy. 

X mark of Pierre Porche. JEAN OLIVIER. 

Martin Pette. X mark of Martin Sondrigue 

LEMOINE. X mark of Louis Sondrigue. 

X mark of Joseph Ledoux. X mark of Pierre Eneza. 

X mark of Pierre Bonhomme. H. Jaba, engage (1) 

X Thomas Morin Volant. X mark of Nicolas Prevot. 

X Nicolas Dorion. X mark of Joseph Prevot. 

X mark of Pierre Le Doux. SERVAT. 

Pierre Pizani. X mark of Pre St Onge. 

X mark of Joseph Bartelmy. X mark of L. St Onge. 

We, the undersigned deputies of the inhabitants and all 
others established at Pointe Coupee and False River, in this 
province of Louisiana, now at New Orleans, in our name as well 
as in that of all those who are established in the said places and 
whose orders and full power we hold ; 

On this day, twenty-first of September, one thousand seven 
hundred and sixty-nine, of our own free will and pleasure. Swear 
to God to observe the most inviolable fidelity and obedience to 
His Catholic Majesty, our sole and legitimate sovereign, to reveal, 
without any delay, to the Governor of this Province all that we 
shall know qf against his sovereign authority and service, and to 
oppose execution of same with all our strength and at the peril 
of our lives. 

Signed: "George Baron, officer of militia and syndic." 
"Joseph Decoux". "Louis Armand Decrest" 

X "ordinary mark of Sr Jean Bavat, so-called Le Blond" 
"X Ordinary mark of Jacques des Autels" "Duplessis" 


The oath of allegiance which precedes was taken in the pres- 
ence of His Excellency Don Alexander O'Reilly, Commander of 
Benfayan, of the Order of Alcantara, Lieutenant General of the 
Royal Armies and Inspector General of the Infantry, especially 
commissioned by His Majesty with the superior authority as Gov- 
ernor and Captain General of this city of New Orleans and the 
province of Louisiana etc. before us, as I here certify in due form 
and dated as above. 

Signed: "Fran. Xav. Rodriguez 

Sno de la Expedizoh (paraphe)" 

(Apparently): "Joseph Fermo (paraphe)" 

Digitized by 



The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 


Sous le Gouvernement de Don Alexander O'Reilly, Conimandeur 
de Benf ayan dans Lordre d'alcantara, Lieutenant general et 

inspecteur general des armees de Sa Majeste Catholique, 

capitaine general, et gouverneur de La province de la Lou- 


Nous soussignez et tous autres de la Pte Coupee, et fausse 
riviere, actuellement assembles Par ordre du roy, en presence de 
Mr Duplessis chvr de L'ordre royal et militaire de St. Louis, capi- 
taine Pr Le roy au Dt Poste, et de mr alain capitaine Des milices. 

Donnons plein pouvoir a Mrs allain, georges Baron, et autres 
notables de cet etablissement de preter a La nlle Orleans en notre 
nom, et dans la forme ordinaire, le serment de f idelite a Sa Majeste 

Promettons des apresent, et jurons f idelite, zele, et obeissance 
a Sa Majeste Catholique, de laquelle nous nous reconnoissons Les 
sujets, et comme tels, tenus de nous conformer atout ce qui nous 
sera ordonne, et present de la part de Sa Ditte Majeste, 

Ce Que Faisant, nous esperons nous rendre dignes de ses 
graces, et de son auguste protection, que nous avons et assez 
heureux pour ne pas demeriter. 

A La Pte Coupee le 10 7bre 1769 

marque de jean cava 

marque de Vincent Cava 

J batis Legros 

Marq de Joseph mior 

P Jarreau 

pierre guebo 

Jacques halluys Derabun Subt 

J porche 

marque Joseph Porche 

Joseph patin 

marque d'antoine Patey 

A H allain fils 


Joseph turbert 




A Olivier 


Benoit Md 

Messonnie B C 


X marque de Rousseau 
X marque du Sr Desantel 
Auguste Langlois D'ormaro 
j lafleur 

X marque de Bte la f leur 
X marque du Sr Claise 
Marque du Sieur La Cour 
J. B. Lacour 

X marque de Jean Toussin 
antoine Bordelon 
X marque d'Antoine Poupard 
jean Stephen 
philipe dagnieau 
Phe Guichard 
Le Doux fils 

X marque de Milan laine 
francois mayeux 

Digitized by 


The Oath of Allegiance to Spain 


huissier audiencier 

Rivard de Rifeutard magazin du 

X marque de S Emond 
Emond fils 
Louis dezzerre 

X mqe de Verdon 
aubin de Gallory 
marque de P Dervus 
P Carmon 

V pd 

jean n t 

Surircup Zarue 
X marque de Rendon 
pierre ducote 
pieer Ducote 
Joseph Carmane 
h Peyroux 
G Olivo 
Madir chirurgien major 

du Roy 
X marq du Sr Estienne major 
Af fain fils Ofc'r de milice 
marque de Pierre Major 
marque de Jean Major 
X marque dandre olivo 
f jorlait 

X marque de Pierre Olivo 

X marque de la Vigueur 
antoine prevot 
X marque du Sr Leonnard 
X martin Commagere 
marque de Louis marie 
Joseph CoUete 

X marq, de S jean Decuir 

pierre Decuir 

Joseph Decuir 

f rancois Le Geay 

paul MORO - 

martin moro 

Joseph Roy 

NoelR. ..z 


X marq. du Sr Gaudoz 

X marq de Pierre Romain 

X Joseph Malus 

X marq. du Sr Nicolas La Cour 

X marq. de Pierre Cuvillier 

X marque de Pierre Morin 

tous saint truberdean 

X marque d'Augustin Gamache 

X marque de Claude Jommeau 

X mark de Pierre Geoffrion 

Marq. de Bap. La Cour 

X Levoy 

X marque de Simon Lemoine 

X marque de Guillaume Le- 

X marq. de Joseph Geoffrion 
jacque firmaint Sere 
X mark de Re Gallot 
X marq. de Jean Assailly 
X marq. de Francois moron 
X marq. de Pierre moron 
X marq. de Francois moron 
X maq de Pierre Larches 
X marque de Claude Destalles 
X marque de Michel Lejeune 
X Marque de Charles Lejeune 
X marque de sr Du Gue 
X marque de Joseph janisse 
X marque augustin Porche 
X marque de Pierre Porche 
Martin pette 

Marque de Joseph Ledoux 
X marque de Pierre Bon- 

X Thomas Morin Volant 
X Nicolas Dorion 
X marque de Pierre Le Doux 

Pierre Pizani 

Digitized by 


214 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

X marq de Simon piague X marque de Joseph Bartelemy 

jh Bourgeat X marque de Charles Robillard 

Michel Ricker S L Ducrost 

X marque de Pierre Landre- X marque die Joseph wils 


X marque de Louis huet X Antoine Guashevaud 

X marque de francois Depe- X marque du Sr Pernat 

rata X marque du Sr Estienne 

X marque de Fes rixner X marque d'Estienne fils 

X marque dandre Rocheau. X marque de Louis Lamy 

X marque de Joseph jofrion JEAN OLIVIER 

X marque de Sr huzerian X marque de nartin Sondrigue 

X marq de jacque Gob6 X marque de Louis Sondrigue 

X marq. darmand morin X marque de Pierre Eneza 

X jacque honhae h jaba engage 

X marq de Francois meru X marque de Nicolas Prevot 

X marq. de Perrot X marque de Joseph Prevot 

Nicolas Belage SERVAT 

X marq. de j himel X marque de Pre St Onge 

X marq de la ville X marque de L St Onge 
X marque de Louis Destalles 

Nous soussignes deputes des habitants et tous autres etablis 
a la Pointe Coupee et Fausse Riviere dans cette province de la 
Louisianne presentement a la Nile Orleans, tant en notre nom 
qu'en celui de tous ceux qui sont etablis dans les dits endroits et 
dont nous avons les ordres et pleins pouvoirs ; 

Aujourd' hui vingt-un de Septembre Mil Sept Cent Soixante- 
Neuf de notre libre volonte et de plein gre Pretons Serment a 
Dieu, de garder la plus inviolable fidellite et obeissance a Sa Ma- 
jeste Catholique, notre unique et legitime Souverain; de reveler 
sans aucun delai au Gouverneur de cette Province tout ce que 
nous saurons etre contraire a sa Souveraine autorite et Service, 
et de nous opposer a son execution de toute notre force et aux 
perils de nos vies. 

George Baron aufisier demelys Cendique 
Joseph Decoux Louis Armand Ducrest 

X nlarque ordinaire de Sr jean bavat, Dt eL Blond 


X marque ordinaire de Jacques des autels 


El juramente de fidelidad que antecede fue en la 

presencia de Su Ex Dn Alexandro Reilly, Commendador de ben- 
f ayan, en la orden de Alcantara, Teniente General de Los Rs Exer- 

Digitized by 


The Oath of Allegiance to Spain 215 

citos y Inspector General de Inf anteria, en cargado por especial 
mosion de S M del mando Superior Gobierno y Capitan Gen- 
eral de Esta Ciudad de la Nueva Orleans y Provincia de la Lou- 
isiana &c y por ante nos, Infraescritos Escribanos, Como asi lo 
certificamos en debida forma, y de ello damos f e Fecho y Supia. 
Fran. Xav, Rodriguez, (paraphe) 
Sno de la Expedizon (apparently: 

"Joseph Fermu 


Digitized by 



No. IX. 

Edited by Henry P. Dart 

Passport to Capt. Latiolais of the Ship Apollo and Instructions Regarding 

Cargo to -Mobile. 

April 23, 1748. 

The short document which follows is signed "de Noyan," 
who was acting governor in New Orleans, during Gov. de Vau- 
dreuil's absence, necessitated by the panic in Mobile following 
Choctaw depredations. The Choctaws who had so long been 
friendly to the French in the beginning of 1748 were divided into 
two factions. The majority were still friendly to French and 
the minority called "Rebels" were English sjonpathisers. Mobile 
was terrorized by their frequent raids and de Vaudreuil went 
there to devise means of protection and to organize a defense 
against these marauders. The Choctaw chief Red Shoe had re- 
ceived a medal, a costume and a commission from George II of 
England and defied the French in their settlements and on the 
very outskirts of New Orleans. At the German Coast Bouchereau 
and Rousseau nobly exposed and sacrificed their lives to save 
others. The warrior who led the Choctaws in this raid was killed 
by his own brother for having broken the promise given to de 
Vaudreuil and Red Shoe was assassinated shortly afterwards, but 
peace was not established before 1750. 

The report of the date of the boat's arrival at Mobile and that 
of its return to New Orleans over Louboey's signature gives us the 
correct orthography of the name of a gallant officer who served in 
Louisiana from the early days of the colony until his death in 
1752, over half a century, participating in all the Indian cam- 
paigns to his extreme old age. ^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^^^ 

Order and Passport to Sieur Latiolais to Sail With an Important 
Cargo for Mobile. 

April 23, 1748. 
We, Lieutenant for the King, commanding in New Orleans 
during the absence of M. de Vaudreuil, Governor of Louisiana, 

Digitized by 


Cabildo Archives — French Period 217 

order that Sr Latiolais, Captain of the King's ship "Apollo" leave 
immediately for the post of Mobile, to carry the effects com- 
mitted to his care by orders of M. des Clozeaux, Commissary at 
said post. We recommend that he be as pronipt as possible arid 
request all those who are to be asked, to allow him to pass freely 
and to give him all necessary succor, promising to do the same on 
a similar occasion. 

Signed: "Noyan". 

Arrived at Mobile April 27 and leaves for New Orleans on 
this 30th of the said month. (1) 
At Mobile, April 30, 1748. 

Signed: "Louboey". 

Original Text. 
No. IX. 

Ord»r and Passport to Capt. Latiolais of Ship Apollo and Instructions 
Regarding Carjio to Mobile. 

April 23, 17 i8. 
Nous, Lieutenant pour le Roy Commandant a la Nouvelle 
Orleans en Labsence de Monsieur de Vaudreuil Gouverneur de 
la Louisianne II est Ordonne au Sr Latiolais Capitaine de Batteau 
du Roy Lapollon de partir incessamment pour se Rendre au poste 
de la Mobille pour porter les Ef fets dont il est charge aux ordres 
de Monsr des Closeaux Commissaire au dit poste. Luy enjoignons 
de faire le plus de diligence qu'il pourra prions tous ceux qui sont 
a prier de le Laisser Librement passer et luy donner tous 
les secours dont il pourroit avoir besoin prometant En faire 
autant en pareille occasion 
fait a la Nouvelle Orleans Le 23 avril 1748. 


Arrive a la Mobille Iw 27 avril, et en repart pour la Nouvelle 
Orleans le 30 dud. (mois). (1) 
A la Mobille ce 30 avril 1748. 


(1) The word "mois" omitted in text and supplied. 

Digitized by 



No, XL 

Motion For Sale of Property. May 17, 1727. Attorney General 
Fleuriau reviews the affairs of late Gaumy alias La 
Riviere, who died at Natchez while on business for 
the Company (contract of timber), and left a partly 
paid house at N. O., together with two negroes (one 
of them still at Natchez). Let property be sold in 
settlement of debts and for benefit of surviving min- 
or children. 

Council orders appointment of a guardian, and 

Hire shall be paid for slave at Natchez. 

Filed No. 254. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. May 17, 1727 

1. DeChavannes vs. Perault. Mr. Perault, both on 
his own account and as security for Mr. Perry, 
shall pay given claim, 437 francs. They may re- 
cover as they please in claims of theirs. 

Costs on defendants. 

2. Michel Roger vs. Rossard. - (Apparently com- 
promised; passage torn). Costs divided. 

3. Canceled. 

4. Vincent vs. St. Leger. Deferred. Costs re- 

Filed No. 253. 

Petition of Recovery. May 20, 1727. Darby claims 72 francs from 
one Thomelin (joiner), due on his note of past Febru- 
ary 5. 
Action granted. 

Letter of Terrisse de Cernan.. May 21, 1727. Name of "Monsieur" 
to whom letter is addressed, does not appear In- 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 219 

scribed. Reference to strange inaction of Mr. De 
Beauharrais on the side of Canada, and of Mr. Per- 
rier here in the wake of the death of Mr. De Melique 
and of several Frenchmen with him. That occurrence 
has decided the writer's movements in favor of Illi- 
nois, rather than "des Alibamous." Two years "in the 
capital" have greatly reduced the writer's funds. 

Petition For Assisant Accountant. May 23, 1727. De Mandeville 
has been asked to take charge of the grants Ste. Cath- 
erine and Chaouachats. The labor of accounting is 
too great for his unaided facilities; let a competent 
assistant be allowed him, at the proprietor's expense. 
Assistant will also travel, as required. 

May 29. Note referring to advise with Mr. de 

Decisions in Civil Suits. May 29. 

1. De La I^ire vs. Rossard. Plaintiff will be gov- 
erned by settlement of Ceard estate. Costs de- 

2. Darby vs. Thomelin. Claim allowed. Costs on 


Filed No. 255. 

Promissory Note. June 4. "Undermarked" Dancy promises to 
pay Rousaux alias La Flamme, 128 francs, 8 sous 
Value received. 
Witnesses : 

L D'Allenne, Si Say Receipted by Senet, August 
4, 1727, for sum of "sequante" (50?) francs on said 
pileist (billet, note.) . 

Promissory Note. June 4. L D'Allenne acknowledges and con- 
fesses that he owes, and promises to pay, Louis Rou- 
sauxy alias La Flamme, the sum of 154 francs, 6 sous. 
Value received in provisions and expenses at his 

Endorsed receipt for "sequante" (50?) francs on 
said pileist (note), by Senet. August 4, 1727. 

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220 The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 

Promissory Note. June 4, 1727. Yve Leonn promises to pay 
Louis Rosaux, alias La Flamme, the sum of 112 
francs, 8 sous. Value received in provisions and ex- 
penses at his house. Endorsed receipt for 60 francs on 
said pileist (billet, note) by Senet^ August 4, 1727. 

Sale Announced. June 7. Balingant, alias St. Quentin, proper- 
ty will be offered to the highest bidder on June 11. 
Terms, cash. Torn and faded. 

Sale Announced. June 7, 1727. Property of Nicolas Gomy, 
alias La Riviere, will be offered to highest bidder, 
cash terms, on June 11. 


Petition of Recovery. June 7, 1727. Raymond, settler aux Ton- 
icas, furnished the Late La Riviere some provisions 
for his raft workmen, and moves to collect promptly. 
He has lost a month's time in the growing season, 
by delayed payment, and would now return to his 

Attorney General grants him preference on La Ri- 
viere assets, after Company's claims. 

July 10. Subjoined receipts for 2671/^ francs. 

Petition of Recovery. June 8, 1727. Claude Herpin, attorney 
for former Councillor Perault, shows that Mr. P. fur- 
nished former director of DuBuisspn grant (Mr. de 
Verteuil) a cash advance of 988 francs, 2 sous, in 
copper. Since Mr. Bonnaud is now director, let him 
be cited. 

Approved, and notice served, June 19. 

Report of Last Wishes. June 9, 1727. Desarboy declares that 
one Richard, sailor who guarded the powder maga- 
zine, charged D, at the hour of Richard's death, to 
see to payment of his dues from the Company to the 
Reverand Capuchin Fathers in behalf of prayers for 
the repose of his soul. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 221 

* Decisions Between Caron and Lagoublaye and Dumas Lempileur, 

Party Distraining. June 9, 1727. Lempileur non- 
suited in his opposition. Lagoublaye shall pay Caron 
according to terms of Contract, what remains after 
payment of Company, plus costs. 

Filed No. 256. 

Petition of Recovery. . June 14, 1727. Francois Brunet, edgetool- 
maker in Company's service, claims 1397 francs from 
Sieur Tixerant, for two years' wages. 

Action allowed. 

Letter of Merveilleux to Gaulas. Dictated and Unpunctv^ted. 
June 18, 1727. Acknowledging a letter of June 14, 
and rambling over sundry matters of everyday con- 
cern between M. and G. Send some corn by dugout, 
if only a barrell or two at each trip. Not one grain 
of corn with M. for homing liquor, which has been 
prescribed for his sole drink. He must even feed a 

* negro and a savage on French bread at present. 
Urges G. to pwnish lazy Alexis by lashing till blood 

I flows. Look after the few garden onions. Send some 

! prunes; order peaches preserved by Madame Soelo. 

I Also send some dried peas, garlic and shallots, and 

four dried tongues. 

Summons to Satisfy Claim. June 28, 1727. At the instance of 
Mr. Bonnaud, attorney for St. Martin de Morge, Sher- 
' iff Vincent notifies Mr. DeVerteuil to appear on Satur- 

day next and see himself sentenced to pay Mr. Bon- 
naud the sum cf 3273 francs in gold and silver specie, 
due on a letter c( exchange that should have been paid 
in France. 

Petition To Sell Vacant Property. June 30, 1727.Mr. Rossard, at- 
torney, shows the good economy of promptly selling 
the effects of the late Mr. Rouzeau and asks leave to 
proceed in accord with the usual forms of law. 


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222 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Summons To Attend Hearing. July 2, 1727. Sheriff Vincent, at 
the instance of Mr. Harpin, attorney for Mr. Perault, 
notifies Mr. Bonnaud, acting director of DuBuisson 
grant, to appear on Saturday at 8 A. M. 

Decision Between Brunei and Tixerant. July 5, 1727. T., in de- 
fault, and bound to pay B.'s claim of 1397 francs. T. 
will either complete the two remaining months of hia 
arrangement with B., or their equivalent account will 
be deducted from said claim. 

B. is notified of seizure in the hands of Cashier 


Decision in Civil Suits. July 5, 1727. 

1. Harpin vs. Bonnaud. Judgement withheld until 
Mr. DeVerteuil produces his power of attorney as 
bestowed by his associates. 

2. See 27^^^ 
Filed No. 257. 

Lower half torn off. • 

Promissory Note. July 7, 1727. L. Lartaud promises to pay to 
the order of Mr. Sennet the sum of 80 francs in three 

Value received. 

Will of Francois Deserboy. July 13, 1727 He leaves 100 francs 

to the Capuchin Fathers for his burial ; 50 

for Masses ; 50 francs to the poor. His few personal 
effects are bequeathed to Mr. Larou's negress, for her 
faithful care of him while sick. The Capuchin Fath- 
ers will please to hand his death certificate to Mr. La- 
rou, for transmission to D.'s family in Brittany. Casn 
bequests payable from his wage account Surplus, if 
any to said negress. 

Addressed to R. P. Theodore, "very worthy priest" 
and Apostolic Vicar. 

Faded almost extinct. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 223 

Memorandum of Medical Attendance. July 15, 1727 To wit, of 
"drugs, bleedings and visits," in behalf of "several ne- 
groes or negresses on the plantation of late Mr. Pay- 
on." Total bill 80 francs. Doses include "hipecac" 
and astringent opiates. 

Receipt of foregoing bill to Mr. Dagoublets (man- 
ager), same date, by Alexandre. 

Complaint Against False Accusation. July 16, 1727. Estienne 
Bouet, joiner, has been charged by Sieur and Dame La- 
goublaye with robbing them of a flask of brandy, a 
jacket with gold buttons, a bundle of linen, and other 
articles; but no such goods were found at his house. 
He denies the charge, and asks that Mr. and Madame 
Lagoublaye be held liable to fine -of 500 francs for 
alms, together with Court costs. 

Redress Demanded. July 16, 1727. Etienne Bouet repeats his 
complaint, offers to be committed to jail, and now asks 
that Madame Lagoublaye be fined 2000 francs; 1000 
for hospital, lOOOfor the deserving poor. 

Notice served to Madame Lagoublaye to appear on 
Saturday next, at 8 A. M. 

Will Filed of Sieur Desherbois. July 19, 1727. Formality of 
signing and filing with reference to copies when re- 
quired. Envelope was addressed to R. P. Theodore, 
Vicar Apostolic "very worthy priest resident at New 

Contents not here indicated. 

Proceedings signed by Delachaise, Brusl§, Desurlns, 
Dauseville and Fleriau. 

Filed No. 259. * 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. July 19, 1727. 

1. St. Amant vs. DeMerveilleux. 

Costs divided. 

2. Bouet vs. Lagoublaye (Sieur and Dame). 
Further in process. 

Costs reserved. 

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224 The Louisiana Historical Qimrterly 

3. Dame Peingault vs. Sarazin. 

Judegment for plaintiff, S., in default. 
Filed No. 260. 

Report of Runaway Negro. July 20, 1727, St. Catherine. Un- 
dersigned Longraye certifies that on July 17 about 10 
P. M. there came to the St. Catherine grant a negro 
belonging to Mr. de Merveilleux, Choucoura by name, 
two days marooned, who was then arrested and put in 

His owners' deputy, Mr. Gaulaz, took him away on 
the morrow. 

Stained and faded. 

Memorandum of Sale. July 22, 1727. Alain Dugu6 acknowl- 
edges having sold to Mr. Durivag two cows and a bull ; 
the cows in a state of expectancy which vendor is will- 
ing to guarantee. Terms, 700 francs; 591 being re- 
ceived, and the residue, 109 francs, being payable when 
buyer takes possession. 

Witnessed by Francois Thomas and Pierre Jean- 

Notice of Seizure. July 24, 1727. At the instance of Francois 
Brunet, edge-tool-maker. Sheriff Vincent seizes Cash- 
ier Duval of all funds owing to Mr. Tixerant, so as to 
satisfy claim of 1397 francs due to F. B. 

Petition for Separation. July 31, 1727. Marie Magdelaine Man- 
gon de La Tour tells a tale of cruelty and petty ty- 
ranny on the part of her husband, St. Malo, and re- 
quests either transient or permanent separation from 
him, with board allowance. Action approved, and no- 
tice served to St. Malo. 

Petition to Recovery Attached Property. August 1, 1727. Mr. 
Rossard shows that Mr. de Noyan, on behalf of Mon- 
sieur de Bienville, was permitted to take possession 
of some slaves and cattle of Bordier estate, until It 
were learned whether the letters of exchange had been 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 225 

paid or not. The presumption is that de B. recovered 
his claim in France ; but anyhow, Mr. de Noyan rend- 
ered an account of what he took in hand. This prop- 
erty should now be returned and sold in settlement of 
Bordier estate. 

Notice served to Mr. de Noyan. 

Petition of Recovery. August 2, 1727. Pouyadon de la Tour sold . 
a negress to Mr. Bourbeau for 1600 francs, and re- 
ceived 1100 francs, but is continually put off with the 
residue, 500 francs. Let B. be cited. 
Approved, and notice served. 

Memorandum of Account. August 8, 1727. Statement of trans- 
actions between St. Pierre de St. Julien and Ste. Relne 

Total, 612 francs. 

Balance debit against St. Julien, 382 francs. 

Signed : J. B. Kolly, St. Julien. 

Receipted by Mr. Kolly, March 10, 1728. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. August 9, 1727. 

1. Marie Magdelaine Mangon vs. St. Malo. Husband 
is willing to behave becomingly and would avoid 
disgrace. His wife shall return to him. Costs 

Costs dl- 

Settled by 

Petition of Recovery. August 14, 1727. Antoine de Joye de La 
Goublaye, having married Francoise Martin, widow of 
Jean Hugot, formerly tenant of Pailhox plantation, 
seeks to recover 480 francs on a house which he built 
on said property; also, 130 francs which he paid for 
medical sundries, or total 580 francs. 

Order referred to Mr. Perrier, Commander Gen- 


Herpin vs. Duval. Compromised, 



Brunet vs. Duval and Tixerand. 


Filed No. 261. 

Digitized by 


226 The Louisiana Historical Qvxirterly 

Promissory Note. August 21, 1727. Bourbeau promises to pay- 
Mr. Amiot Dausseville the sum of 380 francs which he 
lent in cash to pay for negress and her baby boy, ob- 
tained from Mr. Pouydan. Date when due, October 
10, 1727. Receipted by D'Auseville, Dec. 2, 1727. 

Certificate of Wage Account. August 28, 1727. J. B. Faucon 
Dumanoir certifies that Francois Brunet, edge-tool- 
maker, is entitled to net sum of 338 francs, 17 sous, for 
outstanding wages while he worked at Ste. Catherine 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. August 30, 1727. 

1. Quenot vs. J. B. Massy. 

Referred to Mr. Brusle. 

2. La Goublaye vs. Perier. 

Claim allowed. Provisos follow by the act of 

3. Veuve Perigault vs. Roquet. 

Referred to Mr. Brusle. 

4. Pouyadon de La Tour vs. Senet (for Bourbeau). 

B. shall pay net residue claim, 400 francs, on 
previous residue of 500 francs. 
Costs divided. 
Filed No. 263. 

Copy of Testimony on Cruelty to a Slave. Sept. 2, 1727. Under- 
signed, F. W. De Knepper, notary at Natchez, reports 
the evidence received in the house of R. P. Philibert, 
priest at Natchez, concerning the inhuman punish- 
ment of a negro belonging to Mr. Merveilleux, and sup- 
posed to have been maimed by Mr. Gaullas. Case of 
aggravated violence where vindictive anger gives free 
reign to its momentary frenzy. 

Report certified by Major Cazeneuve and R. P. 

Edges torn. 

Petition of Recovery. Sept 2, 1727. Michel Bagory, alias Du- 
elos, formerly carpenter on Ste. Catherine grant, 
claims an unsettled wage account of 2397 francs and 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 227 

(contingently), a still pending letter of exchange on 
the same account. 

Action allowed, and notice served to Mr. de Mande- 
ville, director in charge. 

Copy of Petition and Attached Memorandum. Sept. 2, 1727. Re- 
peating request of preceding document, and adding a 
statement of Bagory's account with Ste. Catherine 
grant, dating since March 16, 1725. 

Surgeon's Report Natchez, Sept. 4, 1727. Lasonde, surgeon at 
Naquechez, certifies that he was called to attend a 
negro belonging to Mr. Merveilleux, and found both 
hands of the negro mutilated (by gangerine, appar- 
ently). Two fingers had dropped from his right 
hand ; two finger tips from his left hand, in sequal to 
strangulation by tight cords. 

Decision in Two Sints. . Sept. 6, 1727. 

1. Dame Perigault vs. Roquet. 

Quashed, save that plaintiff may have recourse 
Costs divided. 

2. Michel and Attorney General vs. Denizens of Mo- 

Jumble will jumble Jumble, and 60 francs go 
to the Hospital. 
Filed No. 264. 

Petition to Continue as Notary, Natchez, Sept. 9, 1727. While 
transmitting the evidence on a maimed slave of Mr. 
Merveilleux's, Acting Notary F. W. De Knepper asks 
to be retained in his present office as recorder and no- 
tary; especially, too, because he is a licensed lawyer, 
and has already tendered his oath in presence of R. 
P. Philibert, Monsieur de Merveilleux and Mr. Cassen- 

Petition of Recovery. Sept. 6, 1727. Claude Herpin claims 57 
francs and 15 sous from Mr. Dreux, due on a trans- 
f erred note. 

Action forward. 

Digitized by 


228 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Sale of La Riviere Property. Sept. 17, 1727. After several auc- 
tions below desired results, the two given lots, house 
and poultry house (in rue Bourbon), are now awarded 
to Jof f re, alias La Liberte, for 520 francs ; terms, cash 
and costs of sale. 

Petition to Recover Fees. Sept. 18, 1727. Recorder Rossard 
moves for citation of Mr. DeVerteuil, who owes him 
122 1-2 francs in fees. 
Action allowed. 
Torn and crumpled. 

Memorandum of Recorder's Fees. Sept 18, 1727. Mr. Rossard 
submits a statement of his dues from Mr. DeVerteuil, 
dating since February 22, 1725. 

Net account, 122 1-2 francs. 


Remonstrance of Court Fees. Sept 19, 1727. Mr. DeVerteuil ob- 
jects that some of the charges in Mr. Rossard's ac- 
count, legally devolve on the Attorney General, pro- 
sector in DeV.'s libel suit. And the other items now 
that Mr. DeV. is no longer director of (DuBuisson) 
grant, are the business of new manager. 

Let Mr. R. be nonsuited and DeV. discharged. 

No note by Court. 

Report of Evidence. Sept. 20, 1727. Natchez. As favoring Mr. 
GauUas, Madame Lambermond, settler at Natchez, de- 
clares that she heard a negro at Mr. Merveilleux's pro- 
voke Mr. GauUas with abusive language, some in- 
stances of which she repeats. 

Receipt. Sept. 20, 1727. Chaperon has received from Mr. de 
St. Julien the sum of 20 francs on account. 
Witnessed by Barson de la Periere. 

Testimony in favor of Mr. Gola (Goulas). Natchez, Sept, 21, 
1727. R. P. Philibert certifies that Mr. Gola showed 
entire diligence as manager in absence of Mr. de Mer- 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 229 

veilleux, working from morning till evening during ex- 
treme heat, and neglecting no part of his service. 

Testimony for Mr. Gaullas. Natchez, Sept. 21, 1727. Fredric, 
Surgeon Major at Natchez, certifies to setting a dis- 
located shoulder for Mr. GauUas; the dislocation be- 
ing caused by strain of loading tobacco for Mr. Mer- 
veilleux. For want of subsequent care, the shouldei 
became dislocated again. 

Testimony for Mr. Gaullas. Sept. 21, 1727, Natchez. Jean Sor- 
tier, alias Dauphine, soldier at Natchez, certifies thai 
Mr. Merveilleux tried to induce him to testify that Mr. 
Gaullas had given him tobacco wrapped in linen, for 
carrying away by night to Jean's quarters. Even 
threatened Jean with irons. 

Petition to Recover Loss of Slave.. Sept. 24, 1727. Captain de 
Merveilleux, commander at Natchez, had to leave his 
post, 1 May in order to obtain medical treatment ai 
N. 0. He strictly enjoined his substitute Gaulas to 
commit all discipline of unruly slaves to Mr. de Caze- 
neuve, and not to punish them himself : "not knowing 
him to be apt and fit in this matter." Contrary to this 
injunction, Gaulas ruined one of the most valuable ne- 
groes by so strangulating his wrists that mortification 
of both hands ensued, with loss of three fingers on 
right hand, two on left. Hands were bound five hours 
while more than 600 rawhide lashes were inflicted. 
Gaulas has been trying to evade restitution by divert- 
iijg his tobacco, and some of de M.'s from the premises 
Redress besought. 

Action allowed, subject to a month's margin for 

Petition of Recovery. Sept. 25, 1727. Michel Brosset, surgeon, 
claims 465 f rones from estate of late Duval Chevreuil 
due on two notes, and a further item of 32 francs 
* (medical bill). Let Mr. Rossard, attorney, be cited. 
Notice served. 

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230 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Petition of Recovery. Sept. 27, 1727. The noble Chevalier Es- 
tienne de Benat claims of St. Julien, officer, 32 bar- 
rels of rice, 13 barrels of corn, 80 francs cash, shoes 
and other articles, as shown by his note of 29 October, 
1726 ; together with other two barrels of rice, a quar- 
ter of Apalachee beans, four quarters of sweet pota- 
toes and 14 francs cash. 
Action allowed. 

Petition to Confirm Arbitration. Oct. 1, 1727. Noel Busson 
moves for citation of Mr. Jean Baptiste Faucon Du- 
manoir, that he may note the ratification of arbitra- 
tion verdict rendered by Messrs. Massy and Duval 
on July 1. 

Approved and notice served. 

Petition of Recovery. Oct. 2, 1727. Captain Dutisn6, creditor 
of the late Duval Chevreuil to the sum of 201 francs, 
and preferred creditor to deceased's estate, remon- 
strates that Mr. Rossard slights this preference by 
paying other claims, not prefered. Let Mr. R. be or- 
dered to pay Captain D. 

Action forward. 


Decisions in Sundry Suits. Oct. 4, 1727. 

1. De Benat vs. St. Julien. 

Referred to Mr. Fleuriau. 

2. Dutisne vs. Rossard. 

Council consigns the case to SCRAWL. 

3. Noel Busson vs. Dumanoir. • 

Arbitration sentence to be carried out. 
Filled No. 267. 

Apprenticed Slave. Oct. 5, 1727. Laurent Chevirty, alias Vi- 
try, locksmith, agrees to teach his trade for three years 
to a slave apprentice, property of the Company. Terms, 
400 francs when contract is filed and approved. 
Item, on arrival of next slave ship, another liegro will 
be intrusted to Mr. Vitry for same purpose, but contin- 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 231 

gently on Vitry's own account, rated at 1000 francs. 
However, if second negro proves better skilled than 
the first, Company may claim the second slave. 

Petition of Recovery Against La Riviere Estate. Oct. 14, 1727. 
Mr. de Tronquidy, Captain of La Loire, sold to late 
La Riviere two lots, a house and adjuncts at N. O. for 
1000 francs, payable by instalments, on which 600 
francs are still standing. 

Mr. Droy, guardian of minor children, disclaims this 
debt because the buyer states in his will that he ow<ss 
only 400 francs to Mr. deT. Let receipts be pro- 
duced and the full claim discharged. 

Notice served to Mr. Droy. 


Petition of Recovery. Oct. 14, 1727. Jean Bareau, having mar- 
ried Madame Veuve Lafontaine, seeks to collect on 
her behalf the sum of 100 francs due on a note which 
is payable by one Aufrere, who says that he paid it. 
Let him be cited. 
Action granted. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Oct 18, 1727. 

1. Bareau vs. Aufrere. 

A. to pay 100 francs and costs. 

2. Jacques Vincent vs. St. Leger. 


3. DeTronquidy vs. LeRoy (Droy). Defendant to 
pay stated residue, 600 francs, and costs. 

Filed No. 268. 

Petition of Counterclaims. Oct. 21, 1727. Pierre Gaulaz, some- 
time Swiss officer, and former steward of Mr. de 
Merveilleux at Natchez, declares that he had instruc- 
tion to punish slaves, and that the negro Choucoura 
lost his fingers by thrusting them into boiling water 
after wounding his hands by struggling while bound. 
Witnesses against Gaulaz were untruthful, and the 
really injured party is Gaulaz, now crippled for life 

Digitized by 


232 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

by his dislocated collarbone. De M. has also extort- 
ed of him a note of 200 piastres, to pay for slave. 
Damages and compensation besought. 

Notice to Mr. De M., dated January 20, 1728. 

Remonstrance Filed. Oct. 21, 1727. Pierre Gaulaz lodges com- 
plaint that when he was preparing to leave Natchez 
for N. O., he had to buy his liberty of Mr. de Mer- 
veilleux by tendering a note for 200 piastres, rated at 
7 1-2 francs to the piastre. He protests that this note 
is void. 

Surgeons' Certificate. N. 0., Oct. 22. Hospital Surgeons Alex* 
andre and Pouyadon De La Tour certify that they 
visited (former) Lieutenant Gaulaz, and found his 
collarbone fractured, and so badly set that correct 
setting is now out of question, owing to stiffening 
process. Freedom of his arm movements is largely 

Petition for Settlement of Account. October 21, 1727. Mr. de Man- 
deville, attorney for parties interested in Ste. Cath- 
erine grant, asks that Mr. Dumanoir be ordered to 
turn in the account of his management ; the goods that 
he has with him ; the value of goods sold and variation 
since removal of seals ; the negress and the Indian at 
present in his charge. 

Signed: Larou, on behalf of Mr. De Mandeville. 

Indian in question is the plantation hunter, and a 
white hunter must be hired while the Indian is ab- 

Edges worn. 

Petition of Recovery. Nov. 4, 1727. Pierre Pitard, alias La 
France, holds a note of Mr. De Benat's for 1050 
francs, whereof 500 francs are payable to La France 
and residue to heirs of late Mr. Rostot Let Mr. 
DeB. be cited. Action allowed. 

Petition to Recover Cattle. Nov. 4, 1727. Yves Keret, alias 
Durivage, bought of one Allain Dugu6 two cows and 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 233 

a bull for 700 francs and paid 591 francs. Hence 
only 9 francs remain owing. Meanwhile the cattle 
are with one St. Joseph; let him be cited to release 

Action allowed, and notice served to St. Joseph, au 

Money Order. Nov. 4, 1727. Alexandre requests Mr. Durivage 

to retain the sum of 100 francs, which AUain owes 

Alexandre, on account of what Alexandre owes Mr. 

D. ; "thereby obliging his very humble and very obe- 

. dient servant." 

Promissory Note. Nov. 7, 1727. Caritbn owes Monsieur Le- 
Cape the sum of 26 francs, value received, and prom- 
ises to pay on the "twentieth of this month." This 
7 November, 1727. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. November 8, 1727. 

1. La France vs. De Benat. ♦ 

De Benat to pay plaintiff 500 francs, and 550 
francs to Company's treasury in account with 
late Rotot. Further provisos detailed. 

Costs divided. 

2. DuRivage vs. St. Joseph. St. Joseph to release 
the cattle to DuRivage under provisos defined by 

Costs divided. 

3. De Mandeville vs. Dumanoir. Provisional ad- 

Costs reserved. 

4. Lemotte vs. Dupuy. 

Costs reserved. 
Filed No. 269. 

Petition For Direct Title. November 13, 1727. Pierre Fillart, 
former mariner, seeing that the Company might not 
care to grant land to an active seaman, engaged one 
Bureau to apply for six acres, and backed him with 

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234 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

capital. Since Fillart's return from France he has also 
paid debts contracted by B. But B. is drowned, and ap- 
plication went astray. Let F. receive right in his 
own name. Notice served to Mr. Rossard to appear 
with reference to proper measures. 

Sale of Real Estate. Nov. 4, 1727. Rodolph Guillard, Gern^an, 
who lives two leagues from N. 0., has sold to Jean 
Baptiste De Chavannes, Secretary of Council, six 
acres of land fronting on the Mississippi, and 40 
acres deep, for 320 francs cash. Moreover, De C. 
will pay 36 francs in yearly rental to Mr. De Noyan, 
attorney for the original proprietor. Monsieur de 
Bienville, together with twelve capons each year, ano 
twelve days of bounden labor. 
Filed No. 270. 

Petition to Superior Council by Amavd Bonnaud. Nov. 1727. 
(26608.) Former storekeeper of the Company of In- 
dies, for sale of lot acquired from M. de Bienville. 
Signed "Bonnaud". 

Permit For Sale. Nov. 10, 1727. (26608) After complying 
with required formalities. Signed: "Perier." "Dela- 
chaise." "Brusle.** "Dausseville." "Meurrin." 

Statement Before Notary Royal. Nov. 10, 1727. (26606) by 
Arnaud Bonnaud, former store-keeper of the Com- 
pany of the Indies, of sale and transfer of above men- 
tioned lot to Mahor Claude Damouchel de Vilainville, 
on condition of perpetual annual rent to Mr. de Noyan 
and moreover of No. 499 to vendor for clearing, and 
buildings on lot. Signed: "Bonnaud." 

Memorandum of Account. Nov. 15, 1727. Statement of Mr. 
Trepannier's account with Company. 
Debit, 30 francs, 1 sou, 6 farthings. 
Credit, 30 francs, 1 sou, 6 farthings. 
Accordingly closed, same date. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 235 

Receipt. Nov. 16, 1727. Bonnaud has received of Mr. De St. 
Julien by the hand of Simon Coon, German, the sum 
of 100 francs on account. 

Petition to Recover Wages. Nov. 17, 1727. Claude Himbert, 
alias St. Laurent moves to collect his wife's wage ac- 
count for three years while she was in the employ- 
ment of Mr. Coupillon at Natitoche. Let Mr. B. be 
cited. (Wife's name: Th6r^e Le Compte). 
Action allowed. 

Petition and Summons in Suit of Claims. Nov. 19, 1727. Cap- 
tain Dutisn^ has a claim (in Spanish dollars, Commu- 
table in French crowns), against the estate of late 
Duval Chevreuil, and Mr. Rossard requires a Couri 
order before paying. Let Mr. R. be so ordered. 
Approved, and notice served. 

Petition to Recover Property. Nov. 22, 1727. Pere de Beaubois 
shows that all the goods left by the late Sarrazin at 
Natchez belonged to the petitioner, being the stock of 
goods consigned by him to Sarrazin and Boree for 
trade. Let seals be removed and goods duly sold. 

Referred to Attorney General, who approves in ac* 
cord with specified formalities. 

Council seconds this decision, and provides how 
certain accounts shall be settled. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Nov. 22, 1727. 

1. Dutisne vs. Rossard. R. to pay 201 francs. 

See 27^*^^ 

2. De Trenonay vs. Bonnaud. Deferred. 

Costs reserved. 

3. Fillart vs. Rossard. R. shall give F. desired ap- 
plication, conveying right of perpetual posses- 

Costs divided. 

4. Himbert vs. Goupillon. Plaintiff nonsuited and 
subject to costs. Document worn partly 

Filed No. 271. 

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236 The Louisiana Historical Qtuirterly 

Petition of Recovery. Nov. 27, 1727. Dreux freres move to 
collect an account of 177 francs from estate of late 
Mr. Ceard, who was charged by Mr. Delorme to pay 
his debt, but died before discharging it. Let Mr. 
Rossard, attorney for said estate, be cited. 

Approved, and notice served. 


Marriage License, Free Negro and Slave. Nov. 28, 1727. Dar- 
by, director of Bernard Cautillon grant, authorizes 
marriage of John Mingo, English free negro, to Th6- 
rese, a slave negress of said grant, on specified con- 
ditions. John is to pay as much as he clearly can each 
year to redeem 1500 francs, price of Therese. Darby, 
meanwhile will allow so much rice, corn, beans, and so 
many sweet potatoes, to feed Th6r6se ; item, her cloth- 
ing. When price is paid, Therese shall have her lib- 
erty. Children, if any be born meanwhile, shall also 
be free. French text; with broken English copy. 

Promissory Note. Nov. 28, 1727. (Name effaced) promises to 
pay Mr. Dalby 200 francs each year until full amount 
1500 francs be covered, on account of negress The- 
rese. Payments to begin with November 1, 1728. 
Value may also be committed with another slave ne- 

Decisions Between Trenonay and Bonnaud. Nov. 29, 1727. De- 
fendant shall restore to DuBuisson grant the ne- 
groes, negresses and cattle in question, and pay 

Filed No. 272. 

Sale of Real Estate. Dec. 12, 1727. Joseph Larchevesque, with 
the consent of Mr. de Noyan, on behalf ofChevalier 
de Bienville, sells six by forty acres of land to Jean 
Antoine Maslon and Jean Baptiste Bergeron, to- 
gether with buildings and improvements, for 500 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 237 ' 

francs, payable in 15 days. Mortgage security. 
Buyers will also pay yearly rental to Mr. de Noyan, 
of 36 francs, twelve fowls and twelve "stunts" of 

Sale of Real Estate. Dec. 12, 1727. Pierre Manad6, former 
surgeon Major, and his wife Demoiselle Louise Jous- 
set, convey Jean Marie Corbin alias Bachemin and 
Dame Judith Anne Marie Hardy, his wife, ten by 
forty acres of land on the Mississippi, three leagues 
from N. 0. with house (bark roof) and barn (palm 
thatched), and levee 3 to 4 feet wide, extending along 
seven acres, together with nine negroes. Terms. 
15000 francs in stipulated installments. Contract or 
sale, Nov. 12, 1727; memorandum of tools, utensils, 
and various incidentals, a dugout included, which Mr. 
M. is to deliver to Mr. B., dated December 12, 1727. 

Decision Between Kolly and Duplessis. Dec. 20, 1727. Council 
has allowed K.'s opposition, and orders parties to 
refer their papers to Mr. SCRAWL, for adjudica- 
tion thereafter. 

Costs reserved. 

Filed No. 273. 

Petition to Remove Attachment. Dec. 22, 1727. Tixerrant be- 
seeches release of 103 francs (his money), distrained 
on some walnut wood that he had sold to Gilberty. 
The wood was seized in Pichon's canoe. 
No note by Court. 

Testimony in Robbery Affair. Dec. 26, 1727. Examination of 
Nicholas Monsignat Cadier alias Pepy, native of La- 
on, aged 28 to 29. (Document too badly scrawled 
and scorched for coherent elucidation). Some pro- 
ceeds of meat at issue, and the acts "of one Renaudot, 
alias Sans Chagrin, soldier. 
Filed No. 274. 

Testimony in Robbery Case. Dec. 26, 1727. Examination of 
one Babaz, aged 36, native of "Marymy in Savoy.'* 

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238 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Implicated with Sans Chagrin and Pepy in disposing 
of a treasury check for 638 1-2 francs, taken from 
Dupuy Planchard, in error for six francs. Coi^ 
cious, if not premeditated, fraud appears plain from 
the answers. Large note was given by mistake for 
a small one ; did the accused parties know the nature 
of large note? It seems that were aware of the mis- 
take, and ready to profit thereby. 

Scorched and partly broken. 

Filed No. 275. 

Summons to Testifij. Dec. 29. Sheriff Dargaray notifies Sieur 
Gaulaz, Renaudais alias Sans Chagrin and Heleine 
Houard, wife of Busnel, to appear tomorrow at 8 A. 
M. and testify concerning the negotiation of 638 
francs in mistake for six francs. 

Testimomj in Robbery Case, Dec. 30, 1727. Witnesses Pierre 
Gaulaz, aged 60 ; Antoine Bunel, aged 31 ; Pierre Re- 
naudot, alias Sans Chagrin, aged 25, told what they 
had to say in regard to the circulation of 638 francs 
in error for a petty sum ; but the evidence is irrepar- 
ably shattered by charring. 

Documents 2V^\ 2V, 2T''\ 27-^^ are placed on dis- 
carded list. 

Court For Further Hearing, Dec. 31. Prisoners Nicolas Mont- 
signat Cadier, alias Pipy, and Claude Babaz, shall be 
heard again and confronted. 
Signed: Brusle. 

Trial For Fraud and Robbery, Dec. 31. Confronting of Pepy 
with Babaz. Contradictions exchanged. 

Charred and torn. Placed on discarded list. 

Trial For Fraud and Robbery, Dec. 31. Examination of Pepy. 
Admits sharing the 638 francs with Babaz. 
Charred and partly torn. 
Placed with discarded list. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 239 

Trial For Fraud and Robbery. Dec. 31, 1727. Examination of 
Babaz, tanner by trade. Denies sharing 638 francs 
with Pepy. Objects to witnesses, and is willing to 
submit to any sentence if case can be proved against 

Charred and torn. 

Placed on discarded list. 

Contract of Restitution, Jan. 1. 1728. Pierre Gaulaz agrees 
to pay whatever balance there shall be required above 
auction figure, in order to realize 200 piastres gold 
to Mr. de Merveilleux for his (crippled) slave, Chou- 
coura ; since the said sum had been stipulated between 
Mr. de M. and Sieur de Beaulieux, settler at Chapi- 
tolas. Further, P. G. will satisfy Surgeon Lasonde for 
all costs on account of said slave. These obligations 
will mature in January, 1728. 

F. N. De Knepper. January 1, 1728. On request of Mr. de M. cer- 
tifies to the voluntary nature of the propositions put 
forth by P. G. in the cause of settlement with Mr. de 

Sentence For Fraud, Jan. 3, 1728. Attorney General Fleuriau 
requires that Babaz and Monsignat be condemned 
conjointly to make restitution of the given sum, 
638 1-2 francs ; and they shall each be fined 50 francs 
in alms for the Hospital. They are to stay one 
month in prison, and must not relapse? Costs on 
both conjointly. 

Petition of Recovery. Jan. 3. Councillor Louis Prat claims 20 
bottles of claret and a beaver from estate of the late 
Mr. de Pauger. Let Mr. Delachaise, executor, satis- 
fy this demand from estate's assets. 
Ordered "communicated to Mr. de la Chaise.'' 

Petition to Recover Sale Proceeds. Jan. 3, 1728. Mr. Rossard, 

attorney, moves to collect 154 francs due by Mr. Ro- 

. quigny, for goods which he bought at auction of the 

Digitized by 


240 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

late Mr. de Pauger's property. Let Council order 
Mr. Delachaise, executor, to meet this claim. 
Order "Communicated to Mr. de la Chaise." 

Contract of Emigrants. Jan. 3, 1728. Marie Anne Morin, 
widow of Gabriel Valleau desiring, to emigrate with 
her daughter Marie Anne Valleau, aged about six 
years, to Louisiana, agrees to certain financial pro- 
visors with Mr. Edm6, Company's agent at La Ro- 
chelle; but the context is worn and effaced beyond 
legible construction. 
Torn and faded. 

Summons to Attend Hearing. Jan. 5, 1728. Sheriff Dargaroy 
notifies Sieur Gaulade, and one Renaudaud, alias 
Sans Chagrin, and Heleine Houard, wife of one Bus- 
nel to appear at 8 A. M. to-day, for review of their 
testimony and to be confronted with Boibase (Ba- 
baz) and Pipy. (This by motion of the Attorney 

Before Antoine Brusle. (No. 280) Councillor in the Superior 
Council, Jan. 3, 1728. Interrogation of Claude Ba- 
baz; store-keeper being called in to complete number 
of judges before prosecuting said Babaz criminally, 
on demand of Attorney General of the King. 

Signed: "C. Babaz," "D'ausseville" (paraph) 
"Pratt," "Sir Duval" (paraph) "Pellerin" (paraph). 

Ip. Document in good condition. 

Interrogation of one Monsegna before Councillor Brusle. Jan. 
5, 1728. (No. 280.) ' 

Signed: "Brusle" (paraph). "Prat", "Monsegna," 
"Pellerin," "Sr. Duval." 

I. P. Document in bad condition. 

Re-examination of Witnesses Who Testified Against Babaz, and 
Monsegna, so-called Pepy. Jan. 5, 1728. 
Signed: "Brusle" (paraph) "Rossard", "helenne bu- 
rel," P. Gaulaz," I p. Document in good condition. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 241 

Confrontation of Babaz and Pepy. Jan. 5, 1728. Signed : "he- 
lenne burel," "Monsegna", "Brusle" (paraph). "Ros- 
sard." No. 284. I p. Document in good condition. 

Confrontation of Babaz and Pepy. Jan. 5, 1728. (No. 283) 
Signed: "helenne burej," "Babaz," "Brusle" (par- 
aph). "Rossard." 2 1-2 pp. (in good condition). 

Petition to Recover Document Jan. 6, 1728. Charles St. 
Pierre de St. Julien, officer, moves for citation of An- 
dre Suandre (also written Crequiandre) ' who balks 
at releasing a certain application for land. Late 
holder, Dauphin, had bequeathed this paper to Gin- 
tel, towards collecting 40 francs from St. Julien ; but 
the paper was left in the custody of Mr. Suandre. Mr. 
St. Juhen has paid Gintel, and now desires possesion 
of corresponding voucher. 

Notice served. 

Sentence (Repeated) For Fraud. Jan. 7, 1728. In final review 
of the case, including the procedure of January 5, 
1728, Attorney General Fleuriau pronounces judg- 
ment in same terms as already provided in his re- 
quirements of January 3, 1728. 

Certificate of Voluntary Action. Jan. 10, 1728. Surgeon La- 
sonde certifies that Sieur Gaulaz came to arrange 
with him at Natchez concerning the dressing of the 
wounds of negro Choucoura, and that Mr. G. was not 
constrained by Mr. De Merveilleux to pay the sur- 
geon's account, but acted on his own free will. 

Marriage Contract. January 10, 1728. (9283) (2242) Before 
notary marriage contract between Jacques Bouchanne 
and Genevieve Cheval. Signed: "Jeanne Cheval,*' 
"Creval Gaston," "F. Gallot," "Vongy," "lenormand," 
"Henry" (paraph). 

Demand by Attorney General. Feb. 1, 1728. Demand of the King 
that above contract be published at the next session of 

Digitized by 


242 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

the Superior Council and be registered by Clerk of 
Council. Signed : "Fleurian." "Hugault." Document in 
good condition, contains 7 pp. 

Petition to Receive Estate Goods. Jan. 14, 1728. Mr. Duver- 
ger, attorney for widow Queant, and guardian of her 
minor children, moves to obtain charge of the estate's 
property, commercial paper included. 
Approved and notice served to Mr. Michel Rossard, 
attorney for vacant estates. 

Petition of Recovery. Jan. 20, 1728. Francois Brunet, edge- 
tool-maker, claims a wage account of 338 francs, 17 
sous, from Ste. Catherine grant. Let Mr. de Mande- 
ville be cited since he succeeds former Director Du- 

Action allowed. 


Judgments Rendered in Following cases. Jan. 24, 1728. No. 

Lecas vs. Cartelon. 
Pierre Gonlar vs. Sr. de Merveilleux. 
Duplessy vs. KoUy. 

Signed: "Perier," **Deiachaise," "Brusle," (par- 
aph). "Prat," **D'auseville raporteur'* (paraph). 
Document in good condition. 1 1-2 pp. 

Memorandum of Medical Attendance. Jan. 28, 1728. Dr. Alex- 
andre submits his account for treatment dispensed on 
Ste. Reine grant; also to the late Mr. Ceard during his 

Ingredients include usual stock items like "hipe- 
cac," laudanum, oil of almonds; but also more un- 
usual "dragon's blood," eyes of crabs, extract of red 
roses, "water of the Queen of Hungary." 

Total bill, 472 francs. 

Councillor Prat appends a note certifying that he 
affixed the drug prices. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 243 

Judgments Rendered in Following Cases i January 31, 1728, 
No. 286: 

Gaspard Aigle vs. Regnier. 
Francois Brunet vs. de Mandeville. 

Signed: "Prr," "Del," (paraph of Brusle) "Dlle," 
P. Document slightly torn. 1-2 p. 

Notice to Keep the Peace. Feb. 1, 1728. Demoiselle Francoise 
Martin, widow of late Mr. de la Goublais vs. Marie 
Valette, wife of Jean Coupard. Sheriff Dargaray no- 
tifies Dame Coupard (also written Poupard) that a de- 
cision has been proposed, enjoining her to cease vex- 
ing, ill treating and insulting the plaintiff, under 
, penalty of corporal punishment. 

Charred and partly broken. 

Decisions Rendered in the Following Cases: Feb. 14, 1728: 
Duplessy Georges vs. Kolly. 
Brunei vs. Mandeville. 

Signed "Prr," "Del," (paraph) "P." Document 
torn, 1 p. 

Petition of Recovery. Feb. 14, 1728. Arnaud Bonnaud, attor- 
ney for one Cordier, apothecary at Port Louis In 
Brittany, moves for citation of Mr. Kolly, to meet a 
protested letter of exchange for 220 francs, 7 sous, 
6 farthings, payable in gold or silver specie and not 

Action allowed, and notice served to Mr. Daniel 

Petition For Separation in Marriage. Feb. 15, 1728. Madame 
Louise Jousset La Loire, wife of Surgeon Pierre de 
Manade, lodges complaint against his violent cruelty, 
sundry acts of which their very venial provocations 
she relates. She desires to obtain legal separation 
from him, and meanwhile, to retire to the Ursuline 

(First reference among the records thus far exam- 
ined under the records under early period, to the Ur- 
sulines at N. 0. 

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244 The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 

Petition of Recovery. Feb. 20, 1728. Morisset, employe (cash- 
ier) , has attached the sum of 293 francs against one 
Quider, who disputes this amount. Let Q. be cited. 
Action forward. 

Petition to Sell a House. Feb. 21, 1728. Coupard asks leave to 
sell a house of his opposite the barracks, having 
bought another lot. 

"Permitted the said sale, seeing he owes nothing to 
the Company." 

Signatures: Perier, Delachaise, Brusle, D'Ause- 
ville. Mark of Coupard. 

Petition For Extension of Time. Feb. 23, 1728. Pierre de Ma- 
nade has been cited to pay a protested draft for 545 
francs in gold and silver specie. He objects that 
copper has been declared legal tender in this Colony 
on same footing with gold and silver specie; and he 
further beseeches one year's respite. 
Notice given to Mr. Arnaud Bonnaud, plaintiff. 

Account of Labhe, farmer, with the Company of the (1728-1737) 
Indies for negroes and advances of money, amounting 
to £7520. Said accoount verified by vouchers, calcu- 
lations made in New Orleans Nov. 19, 1737. 

Decisions of Superior Council in following casess Feb. 28 No. 

Rossard, Attorney of vacant property vs. de Noyan 
and Rev. P. Raphael. 
Morisset vs. Guidor. 
Dupralong vs. Gusson. 
Pimard vs. Egle. 
Sr. Lavique vs. One Parisien. 

Signatures visible : "Del" paraph of 

Brusle. paraph of Dausseville. Document falling to 
pieces. Parts missing. 1 1-2 p. 

Petition of Recovery by Seizure. Feb. 24, 1728. Deschampi 
seeks to seize a coat which his debtor, Parisien, a sol- 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 245 

dier, also known as Postet, has ordered of the tailor, 
Robert; in security for claim of 49 francs. 
Approved, and notice served to Parisien. 

Petition For Extension of Time. Feb. 25, 1728. Quidort still 
disputes the sum claimed by Mr. Morisset, and calls 
for presentation of his note in question. He also be- 
speaks one year's respite, as he has incurred various 

Incidental reference to death of Sheriff La Moris- 

Report of Inventory. Feb. 25, 1728. Sheriff Dargary notes the 
articles which he has found after proceedings of at- 
tachment against Pierre Sage ; the goods tjeing stored 
in a dugout belonging to Mr. Raymond Amyot Es- 
quire D'Auseville. Miscellany of items includes a 
barrel of pecans (pacannes), mirror with walnut 
frame, bear's grease, a deerskin and a small bearskin. 
There were also 23 barrels of whole corn (in the ear) 
one barrel of peas, two of Apalachee beans. Mr. R. 
A. D'A. had consigned the goods to Sage, alias Bus- 
son, for trading purposes. 

Petition to Recover Slaves and Cattle. Feb. 27, 1728. Mr. Ros- 
sard once again revives his claim on Mr. de Noyan, 
on account of Bordier's missing letter of exchange. 
Case was put off till "arrival of next vessel," but 
more than one vessel has arrived, and Mr. M. de N. 
still retains the slaves and cattle. Even if the drafts 
were not yet paid, these ''movables" cannot be held in* 
definitely against preferred claims. Let the slaves 
and cattle be returned, and hire paid for slaves since 
Feb. 1, 1727, at 4 francs a day for each slave, until 
date of restitution. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. March 1, 1728. Joseph Larchevesque 
sold to Jean Antoine Malon (also, Maslon) and Jean 
Baptiste Bergeron, six acres (frontage) of land, for 

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246 The Loui^iq^na Historical Quarterly 

500 francs. 6- has paid his portion, but M. refuses. 
Let M. be cit^d- 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. Mwch 2, 1728. Captain De Tronquidy of 
La Loire, claims 200 francs of Messrs. Hamoh and 
Co., due on a WPte dated Jan. 26, 1727. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. Bifarch 2, 1728. Mr. Droy, guardian of 
the minor ch}l(Jren of the late Larrivi^re, moves to 
collect 200 f raises due to Lariviere estate by Mr. Lan- 
Action aljowed, and Mr. Augustin Langlois cited. 

Petition of Recovery. Ifftrch 2, 1728. Louis Rousseau, alias La 
Flamme, s^owg that Malon the tailor had agreed to 
pay L. R. 480 francs in money or in letters of ex- 
change, but that M. now refuses. Let him be cited. 
Approved, and notice served. 

Petition to Cancel Contract- March 4, 1728. Mr. Kanunon ad- 
mits that he gave his note (for 200 francs ) to Cap- 
tain DeTronquldy, but in the understanding that the 
payment shpijl^ be "at will," and would not be pushed 
Mr. H. lacks funds, and begs to surrender the land in 
question, subject to annulment of given note. 

Decisions in following Cmcs:' March 6, 1728. 

Arnaud Bonn^Hd vs. Kolly. 
Joseph Larcheveque vs. Jean Corbin Masson. 
Roussard v^. Masson. 
Rousseau vs. Malo. 

Signatures torn away. Document in bad condition 
1 1-2 pp. 

Petition in Remonstrance. March 8, 1728. Antoine Bonvillain 
was judged in default and sentenced to costs in his 
suit against Madame Roy, for a bill of 72 francs due 
for iron work pn a plough. Mr. B. was prevented 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 247 

from appearing by lack of conveyance, and he begs 
to oppose the said sentence, that he may still recover 
his claim from Madame Roy. 
Action allowed. 

Petition For More Time. March 8, 1728. Claude de Trenonnay 
Chanfret, directot* of DuBuisson grant (at Bayou- 
goula), cannot cotnply with ruling which calls for 
prompt accounting by him ; he lacks the necessary pa- 
pers. He, therefore, asks for six months' delay; or 
else let Mr. De Verteuil turn over his account to pe- 
titioner, and in this case let three months be allowed. 
Nonsuit DeV., and put costs on him. 
Notice served to DeV. to appear on Maicn 16. 

Petition in Separation Suit. March 11, 1728. Madame Louise 
Jousset Laloire Manade moves to recover her mar- 
riage portion, here described in detail, and applies for 
a board allowance of 800 francs yearly. 
Notice served on Pierre Manade, and seizure allowed 
of his credit with Mr. Bachemin. 

Petition in Remonstrance. March 12, 1728. Mr. De Verteuil, 
pleads that he made an offer to examine the accounts 
of Jjis administration of DuBuisson grant, in conjunc- 
tion with Mr. Trenonay de Chanfret, who refused 
brought suit for extension of time. Eight days would 
be long enough to overhaul the accounts with Mr. 
DeV.'s assistance; and without it, Mr. T. could make 
no headway, seeing that Mr. DeV. alone can clear up 
doubtful matters by the way. Neither can Mr. DeV. 
afford to postpone by the month his proposed depar- 
ture for France by the Due de Noailles. Mr. DeV. 
would also recover the four distrained trunks. Let Mr. 
T. be nonsuited. 

Notice given to Mr. T. 

Petition in Remonstrance. March 13, 1728. Pierre de Manade 
"protests from this date and as far as he can protest,'" 
at the course of the proceeding in favor of his wife. 
Let a reporter be named to brief the articles at issue, 

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248 The Louisiana Historical Qvxirterly 

and let the seizure moved by Madame be suspended. 
No note by Court. 

Separation Suit Adjourned. March 13, 1728. Council allows 
defendant, Surgeon Pierre de Manag^, a week's res- 
pite ; in which time he may turn in his defense, either 
avowing or contesting the pending charges. 

Decisions in Following Cases: March 13, 1728 No. 390. 

De Noyan vs. Verteuil. 

Louise Jousset de Laloire vs. Pierre de Manade. 
Marguerite Savard vs. Sr. Jallot. 
. Signed: "Prr," "Del," paraph of Brusle. "P" par- 
aph of Dausseville. 

1 p. Torn and ink eaten. 

Meanwhile he shall not molest Madame de Manadd 
(now harbored by the Ursulines) ; who "will not stay 
safeguarded by the Kinjer's Justice." 

Notice served to defendant. 

Decisions Between Droy and Larividre. March 20, 1728. Mr. 
Augustin Langlois shall pay Mr. Droy the given claim 
of 200 francs, and A. L. is nonsuited in demands of 
his own. 

Costs on A. L. ^ 

Declaration of Sieur de Matiade that he consents to separation 
of property demanded by his wife, but not to separa- 
tion of bed and board. 
March 20, 1728. 

Signed: "Pre Manade," "Rossard clerk". 1-2 p. 
Document in good condition. 

Decisions of Superior Council in following Cases: March 20, 
1728. No. 292. 
Droy vs. Langlois. 
Courot vs. Kolly. 
Jean Lasserre vs. Duplessy. 

Signed: "Perier," "Del," paraph of Brusle. "P." 
paraph of Dausseville. 

2 pp. Not torn but badly stained. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 249 

Contract To Buy Slave. March 23, 1728. Laurent Chevirty, 
alias Vitry, locksmith, having received a slave from 
Mr. Gerard Pellerin, guard of Company stores, agrees 
to pay for said (negro) slave, 1000 francs in three 
crops of indigo, tobacco or other produce marketable 
in France. Mortgage security. Slave was importea 
by the ship Due de Noailles. Buyer must also fur- 
nish 30 days of labor in the public service. 

Receipt March 27, 1728. Chapitoulas. J. Viard received of 
Mr. Lafreniere the quantity of 7 pickaxes and other 
sundry articles of trade utility, and promises to pay 
at his option. 

Digitized by 


Statement of the Ownership. Management, Circulation, etc., required 
by the Act of Congress of August 24, 1912. of the Loulariana Historical 
Quarterly, published quarterly at New Orleans, La. for April 1, 1921. 
State of Louisiana, Parish of Orleans. Before me, a Notary Public, in 
and for the State and Parish aforesaid, personally appeared John Dy- 
mond. who, having been duly sworn according to law, deposes and says 
that he is the Editor of the Louisiana Historical Quarterly, and that the 
following is. to the best of his knowledge and belief, a true Fftatement of 
the ownership, management, etc., of the aforesaid publication for the 
date shown In the above caption, rf-nuired by the Act of August 24, 
1912. Publisher, Louisiana Historical Society. Editor, Managing Editor, 
Business Manager, John Dymond, New Orleans, La., 2. That the owners 
are: The Louisiana Historical Society and issues no stock. Officers 
are: G. Cusachs, President; John Dymond, Firsft Vice-President: Wil- 
liam Kernan Dart, Second Vice-President; Henry Renshaw, Third Vice- 
President; W. O. Hart, Treasurer and Bussiere Rouen, Corresponding 
Secretary, all of New Orleans, La. 3. That the known bondholders, 
mortgaged, and other securities holders owning or holding 1 per cent, or 
more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities are: 
None. Signed John Dymond, Editor. Sworn to and subscribed before 
me this first day of April, 1921. (Seal) Augustus Williams, Notary 
Public. (My Commission is for lifetime.) 

Digitized by 


The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

VoL 4, No. 3 July, 1921 

Courts and Law in Colonial 

Servinien*s Case — 1752. 

Records of the Superior Council 
of Louisiana. 

Cabildo Archives {Supplement 
to No. VI and No. VIL) 

Louisiana Confederate Military 

Published June, 1922 

Published Quarterly by 



Digitized by 


Digitized by 


The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4. No. 3 

July, 1921 

^tcfed to the Moond daM mail matter Jane 6. 1917, at the poat-oOke at New Orleaiia, La., 
under Act ol Atiguat 24, 1912. 

SubecrlptloQ $2.00 per annum, payable in advance. Addreaa, Louisiana Hbtorical Quarterly, 
Cabildo. New Orleana. La. 

Ramires-Jones Printing Co. 
Baton Rougf, La. 

Digitized by 


' ■- /- 


,OF THE . . 



JOHN DYMOND. First Vice-President, 

BUSSIERE ROUEN, Second Vice-President. 

HENRY RENSHAW. Third Vice-Preskjent, 

W. O. HART, Treasurer. 

HENRY P. DART, Archivist, * 

MISS GRACE KING, Recording Secretary. 

MRS. HELOISE HULSE CRUZAT, Corresponding Secretary. 

Executive Committee 

John Dymond, Chairman; Caspar Cusachs, Bussiere Rouen, Henry Renshaw 
W. O. Hart, Henry P. Dart, Miss Grace King and Mrs. Heloise Hulse Cnizat. 

Editor Historical Quarterly 

JOHN DYMOND Cabildo. N-w Orleans 

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Table of Contents 

Vol I ME 4, Nc. 3 July, 1921 

Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana... 255 

Henry Plauch^ Dart 

Servinien's Case— 1752 290 

Edited by Henry Plauch^ Dar't 

Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 324 

Cabildo Archives (Supplement to No. H and No. VH) ....361 

Edited by Henry Plauch^ Dart 

Louisiana Confederate Military Records. 369 

A. B. Booth 

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Digitized by 


The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No, 3 July, 1921 


By Henry Plauchi Dart 

of the New Orleans Bar 

Address at Annual Meeting, Louisiana Bar Association, 
Shreveport, La., June 3, 1921. 

{Reprinted from Official Report.) 

The President: The next number on our program will be an ad- 
dress on the ''History of the Louisiana Law," by the Honorable 
Henry P. Dart, one of the most distinguished lawyers of the New, 
Orleans Bar as well as of the entire State of Louisiana. 

Mr. Henry P. Dart: Mr. President, and Brethren of the Louis- 
iana Bar Association, because there is no sex before the Bar. 

I scarcely know how to begin to talk about the subject which 
has been cast upon me, while still hearing in my ears the announce- 
ment of my friend in the chair. I did not know that I had, even in 
my own borders, any such reputation. 

I cught to say to you, gentlemen, that the program's title to the 
address which I am to deliver is, to some extent, a snare. To imagine 
that the speaker, or any other lawyer, old or young, could tell the 
history of the law of Louisiana, or, rather, of the law in Ix)uisiana, 
within twenty, thirty or forty minutes, would be to believe that we 
have returned to the day of the marvel and the miracle. I shall ask 
the Secretary to give it another title after he hears me this morning. 

I suspect the only reason my service was enlivSted is that, for 
eighteen months, I have been working in a treasure house of French 

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256 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

and Spanish times down at the Cabildo in New Crleans. This 
treasure house holds the judicial records of the French Superior 
Council and the Spanjsl} Cjabijdo ^•'a cc^llectigi^ o^ French and Spanish 
legal documents nmning from 1712 to 1803; a quaint mixture of old 
French legal phrases and curr^ntj Colonial French; and ^ like mixture 
in Spanish form. Tlhose.whbrti I thought cdiri^reati tlioke {iocuments 
soon stranded on the translation. It was clearly a task requiring 
skill and knowledge, not only in languages, but also in antiquarian 
knowledge of Louisiana. I saw enough, however, to realize 'that I 
had found the archives which would throw light on the origin and 
sources of Louisiana law and practice; that indeed I was at the 
threshold of our law. And with the missionary spuit strong upon me 
I began to try to arous^lAtei^est. 'At 'first it was fiut'a 'cVy in the 
wilderness; the brethren would stop and listen courteously, but alas, 
these are strenuous times, they would say, and we must get on. The 
newspapers thought they saw something in it that would incre?se 
their circulation, and the reporters handled the manuscripts, but 
they, too, turned away. They took some pictures and wrote some 
headlines, but who the devil, said the editor, knows anything about 
it? One of the scribes, indee^i, wanted to know whv these people 
wrote **in a foreign language anyway?" English is so easy. 

And yet, there before me lay fifty thousand documents or more 
that told of the daily life of our ancestors; of their births and deaths, 
of their marriages and their children; their contracts and disputes, 
their purchases and sales, their will§ and their estates. My un- 
skilled eye picked out precedents that were appearing in the same 
forms in our practice today, and references to legal systems that 
we still refer to, but nevertheless, the door which J;iad been opened 
to me seemed about to close again, as doubtless it had opened and 
closed on others who perchance had strayed upon these papers 
before me. One may have a spiritual and patriotic interest in ancient 
dociunents, but at my age he may not undertake this task alone, 
for the spiritual and the physical are necessary elements in a job of 
this character. Then literally out of a clear sky, cJ^me the relief. A 
philanthropist of New Orleans had seen one of the appeals, and with 
a gift in his hand he said to me, *'I don't know what it all means, but 
here is som.ething to begin the work with.Maybe," he said, "the people 
will follow it up if we begin it." It was a very perfect thing he did, 
for his gift enabled me to employ ccmpetent help, and for twelve 
months the good work has gone on. 

These records have a history; there has been a legend in New 
Orleans that the papers locked up in certain black boxes, an hundred 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 267 

or more^ contained all the secret history of the wicked French and 
Spanish days; now and then some historian would get a glimpse at a 
box and wafe appalled at the confusion, and perhaps at the jargon^ 
5'et the legend prevailed, and one news writer revived it when we 
opened up the boxes, and he warned all the descendants of Creole 
days who had a skeleton in their closets to be, on the qui rive, for now 
it was' about to bfe exposed, anc} one deai old soul visited us, fixed 
in the belief that she would be able to see it. "Please,'* she said, 
**please let me see the skeleton/' 

The local i archives of ancient Ix)uisiana were sealed in 1803 
under the wders of Laussat, the French commissionerr and when 
Claiborne took charge he found under these seals the judicial records 
of the French and Spanish periods, and also the notarial necords of 
the latter era. On the ground of public necessity he permitted access 
to these records, which he had caused to be placed in the custody 
of the Mimicipal Council of New Orleans and which later on were 
transferred to the care of Peter Pedesclaux, who was a notary in 
Spanish times and who was appointed to the same office by Claiborne. 
Under thisf appointment P^esclaux may be considered the first 
custodian of notarial records in New Orleans, an office well established 
in oiu" system. These papers of the preceding governments remained 
intact for many years,but unfortunately no list or index was made, 
though this had been ordered by the Legislative Council. The 
writings of Judge Martin and Mr. Gayarre show familiarity with 
these records, but those authors made very little use' of the material^ 
possibly because it did not fall within the scope of their literary work. 
Finally, in Gayarre's early years, the archives were removed to 
Baton Rouge, doubtless through his efforts, and they were placed 
in the custody of the Louisiana Historical Society, whose domicile 
was fixed in that place by the I-^gislature, which made the Society 
custodian of the archives. . 

When the capitol was burned by the Federal troops in 1862 
the archives were injured by fire and water and the better part 
plundered and carried off by the invading soldiers. Years after the 
war a great quantity were located in Wisconsin; principally through 
Gayarre's efforts they were recovered and brought to New Orleans, 
where, after still other adventures and vicissitudes, they reached 
again the custody of the Historical Society, and what remains of the 
archives so sedulously preserved by Laussat are now in the Cabildo. 

We are late at the feast, so to speak, and can only do our best 
now with what is left. Perhaps in time the minute books of the 

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258 The Louisiana Historical Qtuirterly 

Superior Council and of the Cabildo and valuable other lost material, 
may still be recovered; like strayed kittens such things have a canny 
habit of returning to their owners, and we expect much to happen 
when it is known that the State has recognized her duty and created 
a department of archives. 

These records which we have are now, for the first time, being 
examined and put in order. An alphabetical and topical index has 
been started, and here and there translations are being made, chiefly 
to whet the appetite of the student and as an evidence of the value 
of our collection, which covers much inform-^ tion regarding the judi- 
cial, governmental and economical history of the Colony and Prov- 
ince of Louisiana. We have here eiough to develop the coiu-se of 
life in all these departments during ne^riy one hxmdred yeai^s under 
French and Spanish rule. 

But the gift which enabled us to start tlis work is insufficient to 
complete the task, even on the meagre lines here indicated, and 
clearly the preservation of these archives; the search for others; the 
accumulation in one place of material uncared for in the various de- 
partments of government; the establishment of a safe place or cen- 
tral location for the archives; the employment of caretakers; in short, 
the creation of a Department of Archives in Louisiana, are all matters 
for legislative action. 

As lawyers, the shame falls on our profession if we neglect this 
vital thing, and I shall use the few moments allotted me on this 
program to establish, as I hope I can, the duty that is on us to take 
action to preserve not only our colonial archives, but also the vast 
accumulations of State and private papers which fall under that 
definition. If time spared I could rebuild before your eyes from these 
records at the Cabildo the machinery of government in French and- 
Spanish Louisiana, and picture the procedure and practice in the 
courts and revive some of the decisions which created precedents 
that found their way later into our codes and jurisprudence, but this 
is not possible here and I shall content myself, instead, with glimpses 
at the contents, leaving your imagination to kindle the scene, the 
historical procession which would follow if these records were at 
public conmiand. 

French Period 

The history of this part of ancient Louisiana begins with La 
Salle's classic adventure on the Mississippi River in 1682, and our 
first legal document is a proces verbal prepared for him, at or near 

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Courts and Laio in CoUmiol Louisiana 269 

the present site of New Orleans, in authentic form before Jacques de 
Metaire, a notary of Fort Frontenac, Canada, who accompanied 
La Salle as scribe, and for the purpose of executing and preserving in 
due and permanent shape, according to law, the evidence of the 
discovery and taking over of Louisiana for his master, the King of 
France. That docimient is just as modem in every way as any 
proces verbal of today, or as any other act of like nature to which 
we lawyers address ourselves. That document which we would still 
call a proces verbal is designated as a proces verbal in the archives 
of Paris, and it is also an authentic act, that is, one executed before a 
notary, signed by the parties making it and the witnesses and the 

The next step in our history was made, as everybody knows, with 
the little colony at Biloxi under Iberville. For the period from 1699 
to 1712, thirteen years, this beginning of Louisiana was governed by 
a hierarchy. There was a lieutenant of the King at the head of mili- 
tary- and naval affairs, and as such exercisir g the functions of governor; 
a conmiissioner, who was a civil officer, called the Conunissaire Or- 
donnateur, who was at once auditor, treasurer, storekeeper and 
general manager, and there was a curfe who ran the ecclesiastical 
side. That was the first government that we are taught about in 
Martin and Gayarre; there is nothing in our archives to indicate the 
presenre of kw courts, or a judicial department. 

Civil govermienl in its proper understanding began in Louisiana 
in 1712, with the Crozat grant given by Louis of France, who con- 
stituted CroKt the overlord, lessee or manager of the colony of 
Louisiana. That grant is intere >ting to us because in it we received 
the Custom of Paris as bur fundamental law and the two things: the 
establishment of civil government and the enactment of a law for its 
guidance, fix the date at which the history of our legal institutions 
must always begin. From this p^int of view, the Custom of Paris 
is the cornerstone of the civil lav of Louisiana. That custom was in 
1712 a written law, a codification begun in the fifteenth 
century and completed in the sixteenth. The redaction 
of the Customs of France is a story too familiar to repeat in this 
presence, but a word must be said about this particular codified 
custom, whose influence still persists in our law. Prior to the period 
when the King concentrated the might of France under the regal 
power Paris was a duchy or county extending over a wide area of which 
the city was only a part. Its original law was tribal and these cus- 
toms had in time been subjected to Roman influences and to the 
customs brought in by the Germanic irruption. These in turn had 

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660 The Louisiana Historical Qimrterly 

been subjected to the regulations and nec!essitie&of a busyand teem- 
ing population divided into guilds' cm- clan^. In time the Custom of 
Paris, or law of Paris, came to be regarded as tbe rule or right of all 
those who were not contrdled by ecclesiastical,- military olr feudal 
laws. The people,' the common people, did not' wholly escape these 
last-mentioned laws; indeed, the first sections of the Custom as 
redacted pres^erved a tody of law concerning fiefs and feudal rights 
Which fortunately did* not gain foothold in Louisiana, principally 
because in 1719 the ground was swept itom under them by the 
provision irlthe charter of the Company of the West- authorizing the 
grant of land in Louisiana in franc aku, allodially, and also because 
the adventurers who colonized under that grant escaped the possi- 
bility of a feudal creation of baronnies and duchies which was con- 
templated in the large gifts Or divisions of the new cotmtry which 
marked the beginning of that company, but which were sterilized, 
one might better say nullified, by the financial impoverishment re- 
sulting from the downfall of Law and the bursting* of the Mississippi 
Bubble. ^ ' . ' r • . . 

This Custom of Paris, as it was received and enforced in Louis- 
iana, was a code divided into sixteen titles andcontaining three hun- 
dred articles- I have not time here to follow the particulars treated 
in it. but I must notice that in its third and fourth titles it treats of 
movables and immovables* and the disturbances of real rights, in 
language and definitions that we find repeated in the Code Napoleon 
and in our own code. In title fifth you will find the germ of that 
part of our Code of Practice dealing with actions^ real, personal and 
hypothecary, and the rules regulating the joinder of isdue and pleas 
in compensation and reconvention. The sixth title handles prescrip- 
tion, and here again the Civil Code of Louisiana recalls the student 
to these origins. The eighth title may be found scattered in many 
provisions of our codes; the pledge of the landlord on the goods of the 
lessee is only one of many easily recognized sources of our law. But 
I must move faster, noting only the fascination which you will find 
in the titles on servitudes, on community of acquets and gains, on 
dower, on tutorship, on donations inter vivos, on wills and testaments, 
on successions and on seizures and sales; and here in this last title 
we see the executory process in its first shape, so perfectly elaborated 
later in O'Reilly's Code. In truth, a book could and should be writ- 
ten by some of you comparing this Custom of Paris with our own 
codes ; a work you should undertake to pay your debt to the profession ; 
it will bring you no financial gain, but you would have splendidly 
paid that debt we all owe to our mother — the law. 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 261 

In Paris, in 1712 and for a century before that date, the Custom 
was administered by a law court called the Presidial Seit ard Court 
of the Chateiet,'to which I will presently recur, so that when Louis 
XIV extended this Custom to us, the gift' carried a law and a prac- 
tice, a law arid the judicial construction thereof extending over One 
and perhaps* two centuries. 'The gift also carried freedom from the 
shackles of any Other system: military, feudal and perhaps ecclesias- 
tical, but of this laist we cannot be sure until the archives of the Cathe- 
dral and of the Holy Church elsewhere can be consulted. However, 
our civil law wa^ here contained in easily understood limits and save 
that then atifd thereafter the ordinances of the Kin^ were of equal 
force, We were free within this law, oiir law, the French law of Louisi- 
ana. But^ this'in ho wise minimizes the' force and effect of those 
ordinances which hold, on the contrary, a high place at the sources 
of our law, as yoii will see in W. K. Dart's Louisiana Judicial System, 
1 La: Digest, pa^e 13. - 

With the grant of the Custom of Paris there was created for it« 
adhiiilistration the' first law court in LOui^i-lna, called the Superior 
Council. It U-as established for three years, made up' of a lawyer 
who was the First Councillor or Presiding Judge, arid an Attoiney 
(or Procuretir) Genial, who Was at once the lawji^rof the people 
and the legal advisef Of the government. The remaining mtoibers 
of the Superior Cx)imcil were laymen. This court was granted 
jurisdiction over all Louisiana, aiid in 1716 it was made a permanerit 
establishnient. Upott the passing of the Crozat regime in 1717 the 
Company of the West became masters of the colony. The Superior 
Coxmcil was reorganized in 1719, and thenceforwaW Louisiana, had 
at all times this court administered by a lawyer acting as its First 
Councillor or Presiding Judge, assisted by the Procureur General, 
who represented both the people and the government. This court 
followed, in pleading and practice, the forms prevailing before the 
court of the Chatelet in Paris; doubtless they were installed here 
imder the supervision of the first Attorney General of whom we have 
any record, who was Sieur Chartier de Baune. He was appointed in 
1719 with the statement in the ordinance covering the Superior 
Council that he had been a Councillor of the Presidial Seat and ol 
the court of the Chatelet of Paris, and it was probably because of 
this experience that he was sent to Louisiana to install in our court 
the Custom of Paris, and to set our legal machinery in motion. 

I have seen a contemporary commentary on the Custom of Paris 
with special reference to the practice and jiuisdiction of the court 
of the Chatelet. This was one of the oldest law courts in France; it 

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262 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

was served by many judges, called Coxincillors, and it survived until 
the French Revolution. In the light of this commentary, and the 
pleadings found in these old records, I am convinced we took our 
pleading system of that period from the forms then in use in the 
court of the Chatelet in Paris, which in turn followed the Code 
Louis or Ordinance of 1667 on Civil Procedure; those pleadings 
themselves heing then and thereafter the most simple statements 
of the matters in issue. Having been devised for the common people 
of France they were never confused with the forms of pleading 
prevalent in other jurisdictions. In brief, these old records, gentle- 
men, would seem to establish the proposition that during the entire 
French period the Custom of Paris was our sole law, never departed 
from, save where ordinances of the kings qualified or overrode it. 
The sole legislator in those days was the king. All edicts ran "we" 
and all signatures **me,'* seldom **Louis,'* but nearly always **moi." 

Chartier de Baime, the first Attorney General, the man who 
apparently brought in the method of pleading and practice imder 
the Custom of Paris, also gave us, according to our records, our first 
criminal prosecution. He had hardly landed in New Orleans, which 
had then not beccme the capital, when two roving soldiers of the 
Marine Detachment there established took a liking to his linen and 
raided his establishment, and in due course were arrested and prose- 
cuted. The indictment says that the Attorney General recused 
himself, end called in the Town Major of New Orleans to prosecute 
in his stead. That f rst criminal prosecution in our records is in the 
shape, however, of a court-martial, hecause the men were soldiers, 
but. the forms they followed are forms prescribed by the Criminal 
Ordinance of Louis of 1670. 

In due course of events one of the poor wretches was acquitted, 
c r rather, it was held that the deed had not been proven on him; but 
the other was condemned to be flogged by a negro at the foiu* comers 
cf the 'Tillage, and thereafter to ser\e time three years as a convict 
of the company, wherever it saw fit to send him. As the record in- 
dicates it is probable the Sieur Chartier de Baune suffered a trifling 
loss, it is evident our early forbears did not temper justice with 
mercy, notwithstanding they were in a wilderness where human 
sympathy might be expected to control the stringent criminal laws 
of the old world. 

At this period Louisiana was ruled by the Company of the West, 
and, strange to say, not by the king of France. It controlled Louis- 
iana from 1717 to 1732. The company named the judges and indeed 
named all local officers. The king merely confirmed the appoint- 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana, 26S 

ments or recommendations as the edict called this privilege. All legal 
process, however, ran in the name of the king and was sealed with 
the king's seal, but this was in accordance with the tenor of the com- 
pany's grant. 

Turning again to our doamients of the French period, we find 
that the judicial system of 1719 and thereafter was this Superior 
Coimcil, a working court of five to seven members, two of them 
lawyers and the remainder laymen. This principle of a mixed tri- 
bunal was never changed in French times, but the membership was 
sometimes reduced or enlarged either by the council itself or by 
decree of the king. The ordinance under which they operated was a 
flexible charter or constitution covering every detail, but leaving 
much to the judges, including the fixing of costs. We have found 
in our records three ordinances, edicts or decrees of Louis, king of 
France, relating to the Superior Coimcil of Louisiana. These ordi- 
nances or edicts have never been discussed in any history of Louisiana. 
We have caused them to be printed in translation, and to you stu- 
dents, who may be interested in such things, we commend specially 
the 1919 and 1920 volimies of the Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 
which has printed these edicts and other material from otu- archives. 
The edicts particularly are perfect specimens of the draftman's skill, 
well co-ordinated and carefully prepared, mwe so perhaps than our 
laws of the present day. These documents constitute the first, 
second and third judiciary acts of Louisiana, but they are really one 
law, remodeled and re-enacted. 

The pleadings, as I have told you, were drawn in the most 
simple shape. Take one of them as an illustration, a petition to open 
a succession. It is addressed to their Lordships of the Superior 
Coimcil. Then comes the petitioner's name and occupation; he 
* 'humbly petitions"; there follows then a recitation in a few words 
of the matter which he is submitting to the court, and that, in turn, 
is closed with a prayer for such relief as he desires, or for such relief 
as the court may grant. In other words, this document which I am 
describing to you, dated, say 1719 or 1732, it makes no difference 
which, followed one unvarying form, the petition for relief that has 
been common in Louisiana for two hundred years; the form Was 
employed in all proceedings, whether for legal or equitable relief, in 
probate and in civil matters of every description. 

The petition was written out, as a rule, by the clerk of the 
Superior Council. This official was one of the most important men 
in old Louisiana. That office, it is believed, was bought and paid 
for, and he seems to have held it for life. One of them, feeling the 

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264 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

grip of death upon him, bargained it away fpr a price represented by 
the note of the would-be successor. On^ of the contemporary law- 
suits of that period is a suit by this purchaser against the ex-clerk's 
estate. The plaintiff got back his note because the Superior Council 
had refused tp recognize the sale, although th^ djBcedent had paid 
for his office; they held it was not assignable, and the power 
that gave it had a right to sell it again to the next comer. 

As I have said, this clerk of court;, either by, himself or through 
a deputy, wrote the petition or complaint. Ther^ were no lawyers 
in Louisiana in those days, except those two paid mei), the. First 
Councillor and, the Procureur. Having a cause of action, J stepped 
into the office of the Procureur or Attorney General, whose duty it 
was to advice me as well as the State. He probably passed me over 
to the, clerk, .and. the clerk in turn. wrote my cause of action and I 
signed it, or if I. could, not s}ga. I made my mark,. and. the clerk 
signed as^a witness with me. If it was ^n i^ne of fact or matter of 
any kind that required attention, the, First Councillor endorsed at 
the foot of it, that is, the judge, endorsed Jiis. permission to i&Je it — the 
clerk does, not seem to have bad that right. And by the. way, that 
permission is .a form that, in part has come doyn to u^ even upto the 
present day. I will read you one such .order from 1730, endorsed 
upon a petition, which ^sked fpr citation: -, 

, ' • • / ■ . '• . ■• . / ■ . , . 

, , . **Scit signifie .et, assigne au delay de Vordoi^napce. a la 
Nouvelle-Crleans le 13 Fbr. 1730/* . 

which, roUghly' translated', runs: ' . • , . . 

^ *-Let,thq defendant be notified to appear beforie us within 
.the delay of the ordinance.*', . , 

**Let'' still remains the first word in most of our orders. 
. The ordinance referred to in this order is the civil ordinance of 
Louis,. promulgated in ^667 like the criminal one of which I have 
already spoken . in 1670. As English-speaking people, who have 
largely forgotten the tongue of our ancestors, it seems as nothing to 
speak of these ordinances of 1667 and. 1670, but they were important 
laws of that period. If you will brush up your French and read them 
I promise you an interesting session, a subject of information as well 
as an introduction to ancient legal remedies in Louisiaxi^.. 

The petition having been filed and the order having been ren- 
dered for its service and for the defendant's appearance, the huissier 
or sheriff of the court then took it to the other party anc} read the 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 265 

original to him and served a copy vipon him. He endorsed upon the 
original a return, the typical if-eturn of the sheriffs of Louisiana today. 
In effect he says, **I certify that I took the petition and the order in 
this case to John Smith, merchant (or planter or laborer), at his house 
(or farm or shop, giving its location); that I read to him the contents 
of this petition, in order that he might not say hereafter that he did 
not know what it was, and that I then left a copy of the same with 
him. In testimony of all of which I am making and signing this 
return.'* The defendant, haled into court by this process, iminediate- 
ly went to the procureur or to the clerk and told him. what his defense 
was» and the clerk wrote it out in similar fashion, addressed to their 
lordships of the council. So-and-So **humbly. petitions/' etc., set- 
ting forth his defense, and that, in turn, is endorsed, 'Xet it be filed,'* 
and the case is at issue, and the hearing follows immediately." 

In all the records thus far, I do not find lany evidence of the 
formahties of a trial* I imagine it was a dignified l^ut also ananformal 
proceeding. These five laymen and two lawyers sat around the table 
and there he^d their friends and neighbors who. were, involved in 
this quarrel, and they decided it then and there; .but- where a case 
was serious each side presented his views in writing; written also by 
this wonderful clerks. It may fee too that' this was. their ;way oif pre- 
senting the evidence in the case. The clerk, seemst to have prepared 
the version of each side with equal impartiality. . I ought to add that 
the ProcUreur General* sometimes >prepared one of. these statements, 
and if he did the clerk generally wrote the other one.: ■ 

In the edict of 1716 the judges were required to have three of 
the Superior Council agree in all decisions in civil caser^' and five to 
agree in all criminal cases; and this provision rxms through all the 
edicts/ The court must also have teem required^ by some ^rule we 
have not fdund. to state- its reasom for" judgment, because all judg- 
n:ents of this arcieit period all f tart off very much like the report 
in the Journal de Palai^--'*Co!?(iiering,-' ** whereas, *' etc^ Due to 
this prrctice it is possible in every case decided in French colonial 
times to find something to indicate what it is all about; wherever a 
scrap o^ the record has survived. . » , 

There was no expense to the Utif:ants, for judges or lawyers; 
in that respect justice was free i^; French Louisiana. The only costs 
that enybody paid was the clerk's and possibly the sheriff's expenses 
which Vvere fixed by the court from time to time, and taxed in the 
margin of the register of the court. , 

I have found in these • old records innumerable wills. The 
olographic will as we draft it tckiay in our offices and execute in cour t 

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266 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

without trouble was a familiar thing in that ancient day. Most of 
of them start with the consignment of the soul to God and the Saints, 
followed by **I, So-and-So, etc.," and they close with "All written 
and done in my own hand." The nuncupative will by public and 
private act is also very common in those records, and hardly distin- 
guishable from the form we now follow. It could be and was executed 
before the curi, before the judge or before the clerk, and, in the ab- 
sence of those, before three or five , citizens or inhabitants cf the 
place. When they came to presenting these documents for proof and 
probate, the clerk and the judge used the same forms that we now 
use almost identically. The nuncupative will which was executed 
before the curi or judge was probated without any other formality, 
because when it was executed it was turned into the Superior Council 
archives; that was considered a filing of that will. I have found no 
case of such a will that did not primarily and at once go into the 
records of the Superior Coimcil. It is probable that we will find 
differences in the methods of making and probating wills as we study 
the later periods of the French era. The Custom of Paris no doubt 
governed luitil the changes made by the ordinances of 1731 and 1735. 
Indeed this applies to all our legal studies in this period. 

These archives are full of marriage contracts, and these are ex- 
tremely interesting, particularly in reference to the commimity 
and to marital donations. There are emancipations; innumerable 
successions; appointments of executors; qualifications of tutors. 
One singular thing that I notice is that there was no under-tutor, but 
there was a curator ad litem. A female child up to twelve years of 
age and a male up to fourteen had a tutor; after that they had a 
curator ad Hies or ad bona, who was charged with the child's affair's. 
Tutorship before puberty, curatorship thereafter, was the rule, and 
this system was perpetuated in the Code or Digest of 1808. This 
rule, it is believed, was derived directly from the Custom of Paris. 
Whether tmder-tutorship came in later and before the French period 
ended we have not yet discovered. They had the family meeting 
composed of five relatives and friends, and there are the same allega- 
tions in the petition of propinquity of relationship, and connection 
and as to friends, etc. The form is almost exactly as we do it. The 
proces verbal advises the belief of the fanrily meeting that the thing 
sought to be done is for or ? gainst the best interest and welfare of the 
child, and when their deliberations were closed the proces verbal was 
carried before the judge and homologated just we as do it today. 

In short, gentlemen, if any of those leained officials, my friend 
Garic for instance, because I have become intimately acquainted 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 267 

with him; nay. friend Qaric, clerk of the Superior Council, if he could 
wake up frorat his long vsleep and return to now-a-days and get the 
dust out of his eyes, and pick up his quill pen, he cculd, after two rr 
three hours reflection, begin to write our petitions and judicial pro- 
ceedings all over again, even as he did in 1721; there would be no real 
difficulty, either with the judge or the procureur or with the forms 
in probate matters and in pleadings and methods of practice and 
delays and citation, service and return and the different processes 
and writs (orders) of execution, etc. All those things, oiu- friends of 
that day, if they could return to earth, would be able, with very little 
preparation, to resume as of yore. 

These French legal ancestors had also the business character- 
istics of some of our brethren of today. For instance, the first suc- 
cession we find opened was that of a captain of marines, who died 
on Dauphine Island in 1717, at two o'clock in the morning. Some- 
body notified the clerk of the council or the procureur that he was 
dead. The proces verbal says that within the ensuing hour they had 
affixed the seals upon his property. They described how they did it, 
with great particularity. They adjourned for his funeral, but after 
his funeral they made an inventory, etc., and all those proceedings 
are exactly as we carry them out today, affixing the seals, making 
the inventory, description of the goods and property, etc., but an 
appraisement seems not 'to have been a part of the duty. Thereupon, 
ha\'ing made the inventory, the man's will is produced; he names 
the major of his regiment as executor, who promptly declines; a 
dative executor is appointed without further formality, and there 
aft^r all the effects of the succession are sold at public auction by 
drum beat on the Island, and the proces verbal recites that notice 
was given by beating the drum and calling upon the inhabitants 
of the Island to assemble at a certain place, and that they did assem- 
ble, to- wit: that the majority of the inhabitants were at the place 
when the selling began. Not of any legal interest, perhaps, but 
this document is a human one, just to show you how a gentleman 
of that period, a bachelor, lived in his bachelor quarters; he was an 
officer of the army and a major by brevet, and a captain of marines. 
It shows how he lived, because the Uttle room and outroom of his 
house is described, with its windows and door and its furniture 
and coverings; it shows how he dressed, because his vest and his long 
breeches and short breeches are described, and the various other 
things that he wore and used are all set out in minute detail; and the 
proces verbal of s^le shows what those things were worth. I would 
like to say, as illustrating the way they lived in those early days. 

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those who have so long since gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds, 
that there were foimd among his effects several grades and qualities 
of brandy and wine, white and red, and quite a lot of it, and when 
these were sold, there was very active competition for them. There 
was evidently no prohibition in the Island of Dauphine! 

We have not foimd as yet anything of special interest regarding 
the first judge, who was Sieur Hubert. His name figures all through 
the early French records, however, and it may be when we get deeper 
into it they will tell something, or some future student may find and 
tell us something about him. He was the first judge, just as Sieur 
Chartier de Baune was the first attorney general or procureiw. 

The jurisdiction of the Superior Council was original, and at t^e 
beginning, exclusive and final. It possessed civil and criminal juris- 
diction, and was besides the only court in Louisiana. At the posts, 
such as the Opelousas, where my distinguished . friend here present 
lives, there was a local commander who acted as judge and conserva- 
tor of the peace, but if litigation or trouble of any kind arose there 
his sole fimction was to take the testimony and forward it from that 
place to the Superior Council sitting in New Orleans, which proceeded 
to decide the case. In New Orleans, as we have shown, the issues 
were tried orally without reducing the evidence to writing. Toward 
the end of the French pericd local judges were appointed at the 
posts with power to decide, subject to appeal to the Superior Council, 
without bond. But the crdinance provided that the successful liti- 
gant could enforce the judgment by giving bond to abide the result 
of the appeal. There seems to have teen no method of suspending 
the execution. This, too, is said with reservations. The actual 
operation may have teen changed, tut so far we have found nothing 
either way. 

While there was no appeal from the judgment of the Superior 
Coimcil, we find that the Council of State at Versailles exercised a 
right of review. In a printed brief of the later French period in our 
records it would appear the method of invoking this relief was akin 
to our catiorari, mandamus and prohibition. Among litigants at 
the close of that era one of the most frequent names is Etienne de 
Bore, who seems never to have lost a case without exhausting this 
remedy, and the notice that he gives of his intention to apply therefor 
is not unlike our own notices in similar cases. In the brief just men- 
tioned the argimient indicates that the Council of State could te 
appealed to only against usurpation of jurisdiction or clear refusal 
to follow the ordinances or because of conflict in the same. The his- 
tory of French law tells us that the Council of State was at once 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 269 

the Privy Council of the king, and the Court of Courts in France. 
It could halt the parliaments for instance, but it is added that its 
interferences with the higher courts was very infrequent. It would 
appear also that when the relief was granted, the whole case was re- 

Perhaps the most curious feature of these old archives is the 
occasional criminal record. One full and complete file covers a 
murder in Natchitoches jiist before Spain took over the colony. 
The accused was arrested in Natchitoches and sent down to New 
Orleans, where chains were put upon him and he was immured in the 
dungeon. The proceedings against him are started by the attorney 
general, ver^"^ much like it would be done today by the district attor- 
ney. It was called an * 'information." Mr. Pain, (some of you 
may be interested in hearing that name\ is designated as the judge 
in Natchitoches to hear testimony upon this prosecution. The 
accused remained in jail. He was not even served with a copy of the 
indictment. He did not know what he was there for, unless his 
conscience afflicted him. In the meantime. Judge Pain sat in Natchi- 
toches and simmioned and examined all the witnesses, and he trans- 
scribed all the testimony, without, however, indicating his own 
finding or opinion. This was returned to the Superior Council in 
New Orleans, where a confrontation occurred, namely, one of the 
judges of the Council visited the accused in his dungeon and con- 
fronted him, not with the indictment, not with the testimony, but 
with the testimony of the principal witness who testified to the time, 
the place, ?.r.d the physical blow. This was the testimony of a woman 
who saw the blow which caused the death. Her testimony was read 
to the man in the dungeon, and he is categorically asked to say if 
it is true or rot true, and his reply was taken down. He answered 
that the woman was a fool; that she was under the influence of his 
enemies; that she had never seen the affair, in all of which he was 
without volition, because he had no privilege to refuse to answer; he 
was compelled to answer categorically because the ordinance under 
which he was prosecuted so required. Having denied categorically 
at this confrontation the testimony of the prosecuting witness, that 
witness was called down from Natchitoches, where she resided, and 
the accused was brought into the courtroom frcnn his dungeon. The 
report says his chr ins were taken off, and he stood free of his tackles, 
but he was put on the criminal chair or bench, and there in his pres- 
ence, the accusing witness* testimony was read to her and she v^zs 
again asked, **Is this the man and is this true?" and she said it was. 
He was allowed no questions to her. The presiding judge asked 

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270 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

some questions and the proces verbal says that, having reiterated 
her testimony, the accused ^^as remanded to thie jail and the case 
set down for trial. Well, in due course, the fellow was tried, that is, 
his case was heard before the Coimcil, where he was ae:ain questioned 
by the judge and in due course convicted. It would take too long to 
tell you his sentence, but, briefly, he was condemned to be taken 
from his cell in a dirt cart and to be carried across the streets and 
crossings of New Orleans to the place of execution, labeled with a 
sign that he was a murderer. At the place of execution he was to go 
upon his knees and ask forgiveness of God and of the dead one for 
his mortal sin of murder, and thereupon he was to be broken on the 
wheel, and it even says what part of his body is to be first broken 
and mutilated, and then he was to be hung by the neck until he died. 
Subsequently, and shortly after they reached this decision, and be- 
fore thfe sentence was carried out, the judges modified the sentence, 
so that the condemned man should be hung first and broken after- 
wards, a veiV tender attention on the part of his judges. This 
decree bears the signatures of the full Council. Below it, is a certi- 
ficate that the sentence of the court was carried into execution. 
The Place d*Armes was the usual place, in fr6nt 6f the Cathedral, 
where these executions were conducted. The record of this case has 
been translated and published in a recent number of the Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly, 

There are many equally interesting cases in these records, one of 
them (1726) involves a question of superior and inferior rights of 
drainage. In that case the right of one owner to dam up and turn 
back the drainage on his neighbor was beautifully presented in 
pleadings, proofs and argument, and fortunately the whole record 
is there. The lo?er was ordered to undo the mischief and to furnish 
slaves and lard to the victim ready for a crop to be prown to replace 
the lo'^t ore This case was presented, heard, decidCvl and execution 
satisfied within a fortnight. There was evidently no congestion of 
the dockets in French times. 

I submit it to you, gentlemen, whether archives such as these 
are rot worthy of preservation; whether it is not well for us to put 
them where students can examine them and where they can be made 
the subject of historical investigation. I have only touched the mat- 
ter in this talk, but I ?m convinced you are converted, and that you 
believe we should act now to save these precious remembrances of 
our French legal period. 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 271 

Spanish Period 

The legal history of our Spanish era is almost a blank. Little 
or nothing is known about the judicial side of Spanish times in 
Louisiana. We are entering on ground here that, historically, has 
never been plowed, but with these records in our hands we can sup- 
ply the story. These Spanish records are intrinsically more valuable 
than the French archives, for the Spanish period, colored our early 
codes and even now there is seldom a volume of Louisiana Reports 
that does not contain some case that discusses old Spanish law. 

You will remember France ceded Louisiana to Spain in 1762, 
and that the French local commander, d'Abadie, was duly advised 
thereof by his King, who ordered him to hold the colony to await 
the demands of Spain and to evacuate and withdraw from the same, 
when he should surrender it to the new comer. 

Three years later (1765) Don Antonio de Ulloa appeared in 
New Orleans, authorized, as we now know, to take possession for 
Spain, under the terms of the cession. He did not follow the letter 
of his instructions, but philandered with Aubry, the French conmiand- 
er, who had succeeded on the death of d'Abadie. Ulloa did not 
ezhibit his credentials to the Superior Council, nor did he. proclaim 
the Spanish rule. On the contrary, he left Aubry in office and in 
command. The French Superior Coxmcil continued to fimction, and 
indeed, it increased (or perhaps usurped) prerogatives which it had 
not previously enjoyed, drawn on or urged to this by the necessities 
of the situation. The people turned to the Council, who were all 
Creoles of local origin and interests, rather than to Aubry, the French- 
man, whom they had begun to regard with suspicion, and justly so, 
because we know now that Aubry had taken Spanish pay, and was in 
truth disobeying his instructions, which looked, as I have said, to a 
complete severance of himself and his rule upon the arrival of the 
Spanish Commissioner in the colony. 

Why Ulloa preferred the dexdous course pursued by him remains 
one of the inscrutable mysteries not explained by his own apologio, 
subsequently published in Spain, nor by Gayarre's labored defense 
in the Spanish section of his history. Through Aubry, the Spaniard, 
Ulloa, began to restrict the rights of the people, particularly with 
reference to the commerce of the colony, and it was not long before 
there was a popular response. The Creole had no particular love for 
the Spaniard; that was, perhaps, only contemporary racial ill-feeling, 
but it was there and to be considered. The leaders also knew and 

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feared the governing principles of Spanish colonial rule; they be- 
lieved it was now intended to reduce them to the position of other 
subject races of that kingdom; they felt, in their persons and property, 
the slow strangulation of their ancient pri^ i'eges, and it only needed 
the commercial decrees which Aubry promulgated to fan the spark 
to flame. 

The time produced the leader, though Gayarre would have it the 
leader produced the time. A Creole held the French King's com- 
mission as Attorney General, and he had not been displaced by 
inioa. This son of the soil, I^freriere, soon dominated the situation; 
under his lead the Superior Council increared its membership, as it 
had a right to do; it took over the govemn^ent of the colony, expelled 
UUoa as an intruder, and with an outburst of popular applause 
they settled down to peaceful enjo\Tr ent of the victory. The ensuing 
lassitude is explicable only on the theDry that the movement was not 
supported by a united people, or that the leaders were afraid to com- 
mit the issue to the arbitrament of arms. Whatever the cause, this 
admirable beginning of a revolution sank to the level of an "'etneute'* 
or local row. In due course O'Reilly came with an army in 1769 
and extinguished French and Creole rule in the blood of the leaders. 
A change of government was decreed, and to root out the schism 
the old laws were abrogated and the laws of Spain brought in. The 
official language of the race was suppressed and Spanish established 
in its place. 

This peaceful invasion of O'Reilly in short rejected the rule that 
prevailed then and now in regard to conquered peoples. Not only 
did he subvert and overthrow the government, but he trampled on 
the law and the rules of law which regulate private rights in such 
cases. He sought even to eliminate the language of the people, and 
to reverse the action of the human heart. He seemed to believe he 
•could, by proclamation, convert a French Creole into a loyal Spaniard, 
unless maybe he hoped these drastic decrees would sink the native 
to the level of his peons in Mexico. 

Before making these changes, however, O'Reilly had devoted 
his entire time to the prosecution of the leaders of the revolt. This 
is called by Gayarre a State trial. His title indicates he had in mind 
such trials as they were conducted in the early English periods, 
but there is no resemblance here to any, even the most tyrannous 
and bloody Jeffrian example of our race. Those victims were tried 
in the open. If they were baited and brutally handled,as in truth 
they were, it was done in a courtroom and before a jury, and the 
world heard and history recorded their defense. It was at the worst 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 273 

judicial tyranny and regal oppression. But Lafreniere and the 
remainder of his group were separated and immured in dungeons; 
they were secretly examined in that place by two lawyers brought 
from Havana to conduct the "investigation," which was wholly 
after the Spanish manner. It was a secret inquiry, the witnesses 
examined against the accused (and more than five-score depositions 
were obtained^ were examined secretly and under instruction not to 
disclose either the fact that they had testified nor the substance of 
their testimony. We have not found in our archives the record of 
this * 'trial," but it is believed it is still extant in Spain. Until this is 
found we are entitled to doubt whether there was a court in any trial 
sense. It Is probable O'Reilly was the sole judge, and at best he may 
have been attended only by his military attaches* It is sure that he 
alone signed the judgment, which in its body seems to rely on the 
ad\ace or concurrence of the investigators aforesaid. 

Gayarre's report indicates the accused were not present at this 
*'trial." They were convicted, so far as we know, by a decree rendered 
out of their presence. Their defense, as presented by Gayarre's 
pages, does, however, raise the incident to the dignity of a State trial. 
In substance, they defended themselves on the grounds just stated 
by me, namely, that they were at the time of their offense French 
subjects, living under French law, that Spain had not then assumed 
sovereignty over Louisiana; that under the terms of the cession 
and under the instructions of their King, dominion would not pass 
to Spain imtil she had taken physical possession, and until France 
had withdrawn her representatives and her soldiers. In brief, that 
until France evacuated, Spain could not rule. They claimed that 
their offense, if any, was against their own King and to be prosecuted 
and decided according to the laws of France. Without delaying you 
further on this first cause celebre of Louisiana, it remains to be said 
that it is part of our duty as Louisianians to bring the record of this * 
trial under examination. As lawyers it is our duty to re-examine 
at the bar of history the legal questions presented and to endeavor to 
write the final verdict. Whoever does this will be entitled to the 
gratitude of the State. 

When O'Reilly had soothed his official soul with this bloody 
assize, he proceeded to map out the future for the new Spanish 
colony. By two proclamations (November 25, 1769) he abolished 
the old government and created a new '^political and military" unit 
which he called the Province of Louisiana, and promulgated rules 
for the new government and a code of laws for the people. He did 
not differentiate the civilized race he found in possession in any re- 

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274 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

spect from the Indians and other races his predecesk)rs had conquered 
in America. We know from his prdclamations arid from the records 
in Spain that he was vested with power to alter the government, but 
it has not been satisfactorily shown that he was authorized in advance 
to destroy the private law and legal rules of the conquered territory. 
The subsequent ratification by the King and the Council of the 
Indies transferred the wrong to the source of all power in Spain and 
the question is intrinsically intereisting only in the aspect here pre- 
sented. O'Reilb'' did not allege any such right in himself. I mean 
in his proclamations, and we must assume that he acted on his own 
judgment and considered it within the scope of his instructions and 
within his general powers as ''Governor arid Captain General of the 
Province of Lx)uisiana." 

This new Spanish colonial unit was independant of the other 
Spanish colonies in the sense that its rulers were to be appointed by 
the King, yet the Governor of I^uisiana was subordinated to the 
Governor and Captain General of Cuba, and had to regulate his 
conduct by orders received from them, particularly in political and 
military affairs. The power of the Governor within the limits stated 
was practically supreme. He represented the person of the King. 
Under the Governor there was a corps of officials, and each principal 
officer had a legal adviser for his own guidance. These officials 
controlled the commerce of the province, and managed its finances, 
but as to the latter, they were in turn subordinate to the Royal 
Hacienda (Treasury), which regulated the tariffs, taxes and other 
exactions, and controlled the general income and expenditure of the 

Alongside the provincial government, O'Reilly created a Munici- 
pal Council for the City of New Orleans called a Cabildo, a form of 
local government originating in Spain and extended by her to the 
larger communities in her several colonies. O'Reilly's model for this 
Cabildo is declared by him to be derived from the provisions of the 
'' Recopilacion de las Indias'' the great code or digest of the laws and 
regulations enacted by Spain during the preceding centuries for the 
government of her colonies, and for the management of their people 
in all the departments, and down to the smallest details, of life under 
government, but while every section of the ordinance creating this 
body is annotated from the Recopilacion, other laws of Spain are 
also cited as the sources of the institution. 

This Louisiana Cabildo has a legendary and an actual history, 
and the study of our archives may settle some of the conflicts be- 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 275 

tween legend and fact, particularly as to the part it played in the 
general government of the province. , 

Using O'Reilly's ordinance of November 25, 1769, as our guide, 
and having regard also to the brevity which the occasion requires, 
it appears that the Cabildo was primarily a local Municipal Council, 
composed of the Governor and six regidoi:s or councillors appointed 
by the Governor. The office of regidor was sold to the hijDjhest 
bidder, but it had a rating or value, and could be assigned by first 
paying into the royal treasury the half of this rating or value.But 
even here the Governor held control and could veto the purchase or 
the assignment. These regidors were entitled, by virtue of their 
office, to divide among themselves certain offices with high-sounding 
names; these offices, regidors and others, were more or less honorable 
and always lucrative, because in practice no Spanish official ever 
failed to find some source of revenue in his office. At their first 
session and on the first day of every year thereafter the Cabildo 
elected out of their own number the officials r foresaid, namely, the 
Alferes Royal, the Alcalde Mayor Provincial, the Alguazil Mayor, 
the Depositary General, and the Receiver of Fine?. But the election 
was always subject to the Governor's approval. He was the head of 
the first "ring" in Lx)uisiana. The Alfere- Royal was the keeper of 
the royal ensign. What- other duties or functions he exercised, or 
what emoluments he received, we do not yet know, but as a member 
of the Cabildo he could take over the duties of an alcalde in case of 
vacancy and he joined in the exercise of many powers which were 
conferred on that body, some of which I will glance at later on. 
The duties of the Alcalde Mayor Provincial resembled those exer- 
cised today by the Chief of Police, save that he sat as judge over any 
criminal he had arrested, and here he would be likened to the old 
recorders of New Orleans or the judge of a country parish, but there 
was no appeal from his sentence. This officer, moreover, had the 
authority to, and he was specially charged to, ferret out crimes 
wherever conmiitted,and to this end he was made the head of the Spanish 
Tribunal of the Saint Hermandad, which was a powerful secret 
organization organized originally in Spain to extirpate bandits and 
other outlaws. Its authority, as stated in the ordinance, smacks 
of the Inquisition, and its process resembled the procedure of our 
post bellum Ku Klux Klan. We are not able to point out the extent 
of the revenues of the Alcalde Mayor Provincial, but it was a highly 
prized office of evident power and doubtless it was a remunerative one. 

The Alguazil Mayor combined the duties of our New Orleans 
Civil and Criminal sheriffs, and he was primarily the guardian of the 

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276 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

peace. He was an active and important official, and one of his sources 
of revenue was the jail, for every wretch locked behind the bars paid 
tees before he could get out. The Depositary General had duties 
resembling that of a city treasurer and received three per cent on the 
deposits. The Receiver of Fines {penas de camera) exacted for the 
use of the royal treasury was also a lucrative office paid for by com- 
missions of ten per cent on all sums collected. 

Besides these monopolies or plums of office, the Cabildo elected 
each year' a manager of the rents and taxes of New Orleans. He 
was called the Mayordomo in Proprios, and his position may be 
likened to a combination in one office of the duties of our modem 
mayor and the conmiissioner of public works and streets, with 
those of the comptroller added. Two judges were also elected an- 
nually by the Cabildo, called Alcaldes Ordinary, and the Cabildo 
also elected each year a Syndic Procurador General. Another office 
financially and socially quite an important one was the Clerk (Es- 
cribano) of the Cabildo. He also bought and paid for his office, 
and it was subject to assignment under the restrictions already noted. 
All offices for which a price was paid were called, for this reason, 
venal, and with few exceptions, all official life in those times lived up 
to this definition. The Escribano apparently held his office for a 
term of five years, with a preference over other candidates for appoint- 
ment or confirmation at the end of his term. The power of appoint- 
ment was vested jn the King, but when this happened he had to pay 

It would appear from the ordinance that the Cabildo had two 
particular functions. It was a quasi deliberative body and a judicial 
body. In this first capacity it administered the a/fairs of New Or- 
leans very much as any other body would do it now. but always in 
subjection to the Governor. In the second it sat as a court of appeal 
in judicial matters in civil cases only, and here, I believe, it heard 
appeals of some character from the province at large. In this capacity 
it acted by two regidors designated for the purpase. Whether the 
Cabildo had any power or duty over or in connection with the prov- 
ince outside of New Orleans is uncertain. I am inclined to the view 
that it had none. The government of Louisiana was vested in and 
controlled by the Governor and his administrative corps; that he 
may have deliberated in the Cabildo is possible, but that this auto- 
crat would divide his power with that body is an assumption I am not 
prepared to accept without the proof, which so far has not been ob- 
tained. No writer so far has examined the records of the Cabildo 
still to be found in Spain, and..while we may supply from our archives 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana ZIl 

something to help, I fear it will remain true when our work on the 
archives is finished that the history of the Cabildo has not yet been 

The offices with which we are most concerned at this moment 
are of course the Alcalde Ordinary and the Procurador General. 
The Alcaldes Ordinary were judges in the full sense. In short, they 
are the ancestors of the district judge of today, except that we no 
longer exact the "half annat," or yearly contribution of one-half of 
the rating or value of the office, to which the Alcalde Ordinary was 
subjected. These judges had cognizance of all matters either civil 
or criminal within their territorial jurisdiction, which extended 
throughout the city and the dependencies thereof, excepting those 
which fell to the cognizance of the ecclesiastical, military, or other 
special court. These excepted jurisdictions were serious impediments 
to the revenue of the judges, who apparently lived on the fees of 
office. The "Special'* Court was in truth a very serious competitor 
because the Governor's court fell in this category and it was a favorite 
place for suitors, particularly those with a "pull." Outside of New 
Orleans justice wa?? administered by a local commandante with an 
appeal or reference to either the Governor or the Cabildo, and more 
than likely the former. This particular phase of judicial adminis- 
tration in Spanish times needs separate treatment and cannot be 
covered here, as my time is running away too rapidly. 

Nor does our time permit more than a glance at the judicial 
system as developed in New Orleans, that is also a vast subject, but 
it still must permit us to quote the instructions for the conduct of the 
judges. The ordinance says, 

"the Alcaldes shall apperr in public with decency and modesty, 
bearing the wand of royal justice, a badge provided by law 
to distinguish the judges. When administering justice they 
shall hear mildly there who may present themselves, and 
shall fix the hour and the place of the audience, which should 
be at 10:00 o'clock in the morning, at the City Hall; and, for 
the decision of verbal causes, in the evening between 7:00 and 
8:00 o'clock, at their own dwellings and in none other." 

I know I raise in your breasts an appreciative comment on that 
injunction to "hear mildly," because, apparently, it applied to 
suitors and lawyers, and I have heard it is not always observed in 
these later days. 

I have mentioned the judicial power of the Cabildo and should 
add that it had cognizance of civil appeals from the Governor's 


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278 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

court and the coiu:t of the Ordinary Alcaldes, where the sum did not 
exceed ninety thousand maravides, about ts330 of our money. Judg- 
ments above that sum went to an Audiencia (or Supreme Court) 
created at Hayana for that purpose. This appeal to the Cabildo 
had to be taken within five days after the judgment, and the Cabildo 
immediately appointed two of its regidors to hear the appeal, sitting 
with the judge who rendered the judgment appealed from. Whether 
this appeal was on the law and the facts we have not yet verified 
from our records. The ordinance required the same to be heard and 
decided within thirty days. It is certain that the question of execut- 
ing the original judgment pending the appeal was under judicial 
control, but here we are also in ignorance regarding method of pro- 
tecting the appellant or restoring him to his rights on a reversal of 
the judgment. There is nothing so far developed to indicate that this 
appellate jurisdiction extended to appeals from the other parts of the 
province, except perhaps in so far as it could review judgments of the 
Governor's court, which seems to have enjoyed a wider jurisdiction 
than that of the Alcalde Ordinary, and as I have just said, we are 
unable to say positively that the Cabildo exercised any jurisdiction 
as such over the remainder of the province. This discovery must 
await the investigation of other records of that body which, so far, 
have not been found. Those which I am discussing are wholly 

An Audiencia, or Court of Appeal, at Havana was established 
in 1781 for cases in excess of ninety thousand maravides. It was 
composed of five persons, namely, the Captain General of Cuba, 
the Auditors of War and Marine, the Attorney of the Royal Hacienda 
(this office has no English synonym; it may be said to apply to all 
financial and revenue departments of the empire), and the clerk of 
Government. From this Audiencia a further review might be had 
before the Council of the Indies in Spain. 

The Procurador General, says the statute, 

**is an officer appointed to assist the public in all their con- 
cerns, to defend them, pursue their rights and obtain justice 
and pursue all other claims which have relation to the public 

This office was a pure monopoly. The Procurador just had to 
be employed; the litigant had no choice about it. Our records show 
that this was an extremely lucrative office; in practice the Procurador 
appeared in every case, and a procurador ad litem also appeared 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 279 

whenever there were two sides to the cause. Their fees and expenses 
were taxed as part of the costs. And, by the way, every record is 
closed with a tabulation of the costs. Everybody connected with the 
courts had something taxed to him at the close of the litigation. 
Nobody was forgotten, from the judge to the deputy sheriff, and the 
litigant paid it all. Justice in Spanish times was **free" only to the 
officers of the court. 

O'Reilly's Ordinance carried a table of fees, covering the com- 
pensation of every officer from judge to jailer, but he was merciful 
to the lawyers and attorneys. He allowed them fees according to 
the scale of the judges and assessors, but left open the door for an 
appraisenient of any services not strictly covered by the fee bill for 
court work. I must not forget t6 add that here lawyers and attor- 
neys are not synonyms. The former were of the class of the procura- 
dor, the latter merely represetntatives of the litigant and not necessari- 
ly possessing legal knowledge. 

This sytem of charges was the real burden which afflicted the 
people in Spanish days. Literally, one could say that * 'every little 
motion" of an official had a compensation of its own, but the thing 
that stands out most vividly is the value of a magistrate's signature. 
In those days a signature was a supreme effort. Few Offifials there 
were who had not received at baptism an extra name or two, and 
marriage and military service added to the number. Besides these, 
a **name" included sometimes a rubric, and beaut iiful specimens a 
a page long may be found in bur records. With the rubric you might 
employ ailso a ''flourish." These flourishes were creations of art; a 
half page was sometimes taken up before its convolutions were closed, 
and as legal paper in that period was bought by the sheet, (like every- 
thing else it cost), we, in our day of manifolds and office waste, can 
scarcely appreciate the suffering of the litigant who watched the 
judge enlarge upon his signature. 

It is a legend the litigant devised a plan to flank the burden. A 
signature, bear in mind, could te full, half, or by cipher, the latter 
being anything that the magistrate devised to represent that awe- 
inspiing thing, his name. At the bargain counter the cipher cost 
half or less than half the plain signature, and it is said, I think with- 
out authority, that the latter in turn cost less than the "signature." 
Be that as it may, the O'Reilly rule forestalled the official panic 
which this cheapeniiig of the signature would have created. He 
prescribed for the signature of the "baptismal and family name" on 
certain doamients and settled its value at "four, ;"eals in silver 
dollars of America." The litigant might wince, but he had to pay. 

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280 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

In truth, our study of the records suggests to us that this sys- 
tem of officials and of costs was the motive for that household ryhme 
about the fleas: 

"The larger fleas have smaller fleas that on 
their backs do bite 'em : 
The smaller fleas have other fleas and so 
ad infinitum y 

And the larger flea in this case was the succeulent citizen whose 
affairs took him to the registry of titles or mortages, to the Governor, 
or to any of his underlings, to the courts or to anywhere! In Spanish 
times, as I have intimated, almost ever/ act of living had to pass 
before an official and everywhere an open hand was visible in official 
life, waiting for its palm to be crossed with a bit of silver. 

One would think the signature once paid for was sufficient, but 
the Spanish word manana had a meaning then as now. You ap- 
peared before the judge and he entered an order, which you paid for, 
and usually this order required another, and so on through many 
pages of orders upon orders, to each of which the judge and the clerk 
and the procurador and the whatnots subscribed and somebody had 
to pay. Manana — tomorrow — was the root of all these ceremonies. 
You had a hearing today, another tomorrow, and so on down to that 
"perfect day" when all the officials appeared and "taxed the costs" 
and this was not always the end, for the judicial contador (auditor) 
would sometimes audit this and add his tax! 

But when we are at an end of criticism and take up the records 
of legal transactions we are in a world as new to the French Creole of 
that day as in truth it is remarkable to us. Here we find almost 
meticulous care, and what time and fire and water and theft have 
left to us is enough to prove that the legal end of government under 
Spain was handled with care and skill and on the whole with a jus- 
tice which is very pleasant to contemplate. History, like a lewd 
gossip, constantly repeats the scandalthatthe judiciary of the Spanish 
period reeked with graft, and it is intimated that justice was controlled 
and swayed according to the power or the wealth of the litigant. We 
have indeed more substantial authority for this charge than scandal, 
for Claiborne declared officially in his proclamations and in his re- 
ports to the President and to the Secretary of State that he found 
litigation which had run on for years to an apparently interminable 
end and was still undecided. The jails, he said, were full of criminals 
who had *Votted" there without charges or who had been forgotten. 

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Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 281 

if under charge. One of his first acts was a general jail delivery, 
which raised questions that assumed almost a warlike aspect. The 
Spanish Governor and the Spanish Intendant of 1803 hotly declared 
that he had released men charged with treason and other offenses 
against Spain, but the American was inexorable and the jails were 
cleared, and the litigation put under rules th^t soon freed the dockets. 

Whoever has the right of this controversy, we can find enough 
certainly to prove that some cases at least show no taint. lu any 
event, the sttident of these recores will be richly repaid. Here will 
be found a harvest of legal knowledge far richer than the French 
French period, and, more than that, we will find precedents for 
much that was assimilated in the practice acts and legal procedure 
of the territory of Orleans before the Digest of 1808; precedents 
that fertilized that law book and reappeared in the Code of Practice 
of 1826 and the Civil Code of 1825. It is plain, moreover, that these 
records of the Spanish judicial period were built upon the forms 
that had been established in the French period. Indeed, intellectual 
effort to imderstand the Spanish phrases, particularly in the first 
ten years, would be wasted unless one was familiar with the model. 
Here again we find the influences of on^ man guiding the course of 
the practice. At the first sale of offices under the new rule the suc- 
cessful bidder for the clerkship of the Cabildo was the clerk of the • 
recently abolished Superior Coimcil. His position in the Cabildo 
made him clerk ex-officio notary for this judicial system. His power 
must have been quite as great in the new office as in the old and it is 
more than probable that the Syndic Ptocurador General and the 
other prociu^dors, who were brought here from Havana or Spain, 
leaned on and took advice from the man who was familiar with the 
court proceedings of the previous era. Whatever may have been the 
cause, it is clear that the meat and essence of the court records of 
Spanish Louisiana are French in substance. There was more formali- 
ty, more writing, more signatures, more fees, but the pleadings were 
substantially as of yore, and we should add that though the Spanish 
became less Gallic as time wore on, the fundamentals never changed. 
But the issues did change, and here we find questions debated and 
decided in a manner quite different from French times. 

The cause of this may also te traced to O'Reilly's Code, the 
general law laid down by him at the reorganization of the govern- 
ment in 1769. This book is a great rarity in our libraries and an 
expensive item for the bibliophile; indeed, it is about as hard to find 
as oil is in sohie of the dusty areas of this splentiid region (North 
Louisiana), which is enriching so niany of our brethren with con- 

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282 Th6 Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

flicts over titles and perhaps with royalties on. wells. Out of your 
surplus you may he minded to provide for the .reprinting of this 
statute^ and out of yojir leisure annotate it with our jurisprudence 
based, on its sources. Incidentally, you may pay Ji^re, as above 
suggested, that debt you owe the profession. 

At the close of the preamble to O'Reilly's first ordinance, abol- 
ishing the Superior Council and creating the Cabildo, the Governor 

.**As the want of advocates in this coimtry (he had dis- 
posed of the only lawyers of the French era, Lafreniere and 
Doucet) ard the little knowledge which his new subjects 
posJiess of the Spanish laws might render a strict observance 
of them difficult, and as every abuse is contrary to the inten- 
tions, of His Majesty, we have thought it useful and even 
necessary to form an abstract or regulation drawn from the 
said laws which rnay serve for instruction and elementary 
formulary in the administration of justice and in the economi- 
cal government of this city until a mor^ general, knowledge 
. of the Spanish language may enable every one, by the perusal 
of the aforesaid laws^ to extend his information to every point 
ther^f." . . 

The abstract of Spanish I^w was promulgated contemporan- 
eously A\ith the first ordinance, and it is entitled: 

**Ijnstnictions as to the manner of instituting suits, civil 
and crimipal, and of pronouncing judgments in general con- 
formity to the laws of the Neuva Recopilacion de Casiilla 
and the Recopilacion de las Indias for the government of the 
judges and parties pleading until a more general knowledge 
of the Spanish language and more extensive information upon 
those laws may be acquired; digested and arranged by Doct. 
D(m Manuel Joseph de Urrustia and the Counsellor Don 
Felix Rey by order of his Excellency Don Alexander O'Reilly, 
Governor and Captain General of the province by special 
commission of His Majesty." 

This work was promulgated in French, whjch Gayarre says was 
**t7es mauvais francais,** In my studies I have followed the copy 
annexed to his Histoire de laLonisiane, N. Q., 1847, and for the 
purposes of this essay have used an English, translation made by 
Gustavis Schmidt, a New Orleans lawyer, and published in his 

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Courts and Law in Coloniai Louisiana ^183 

Louisiana Law Journal ki August, IS^^V I l^ave also ^n a Spanish 
copy in possession of*, S, J.Shwart?, of New Orleans. There is an- 
other reprint of the .t^nsiaitlon in French's Historical Collections of 
Louisiana. ., • . 

T^he abstract is a little code covering law; and practice, and the 
redactors annotated^ it with references to the sources whence it was 
drawn. Through these we know that beside^ the sources indicated 
in O'Reilly's first ordinance Jhe redactors also used at least two 
commentators and possibly incorporate their views as of equal 
authority with the statutes on which it is based, and in Spanish 
times this abstract and the first ordinance were regarded as parts of 
each other. The abstract occupies thirty-two printed pages in 
English print, covering about ten thousand words. It is divided 
into ^ix sections, each of which is subdivided intp numbered para- 
graphs. Each section has a title and the 3ubjects treated are the 
following: Sec. U Of Civil Judgments in General' (Z)£5 jugements 
civils ordinairesy. Sec! 2, Of Executory Proceedings (Des Jugements 
Executives): Sec. 3, 0/ Judgments ^n triminal Cases (Des jugements 
criminels) : Sec. 4, Of Appe3ls {Des Appels): Sec. 5, Of Punishments 
{Des peines): Seq. 6, Of Testaments (/?^5 testaments). The work 
closes with a Table of Fees demandable by judges, lawyers, escribanos, 
attorneys, apd other officers of justice {Tariff des droits que doivint 
percevoir les juges, le^> avocats, le^ escrirans, les procu^reurs, etles autre 
offtciers de justice siatpir).. As indicated by the titles of the sections, 
the first, §econd and fourth sections relate to civil. practice; the sixth 
combines thp law and practice on ^Us; th^ third and fifth concern 
crimes and 'p)enalti^s. , . 

The first section prescribes hpw civil actions shall be brought 

I and deifended, and here we may say that the forms of pleading were 

i very similar to purs of today and consisted of the petition, notice or 

citation, exceptions and /or answer, and a replication thereto, but 

there was no public trial. The witnesses were examined in secret 

by the judge, and only after both sides bad closed was an opportunity 

afforded to the parties tp see th|B evidenceadduced in.the case; on 

this exposure or "publication*' of the piroofs, either party could object 

or except thereto for ce,rtain causes, such as the capacity, relationship, 

or Interest oif the witnesses?, and on this issue proof was. permitted. 

Notwithstanding the provision governing exanjination of witnesses 

• by the judge, we find in tl^e records constant examinations under 

I interrpg?itories propounded ^y ^ach side, but this may have been 

the method estabiished by the judge imder the foregmng rule without, 

however, conveying ciurent knowledge of the results thereof to the 

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284 The Lauieiana Historical Quarterly • 

litigants. Other provisions in this section govern the hearing or 
argument; the time of decision, and the delay for the appeal, all of 
which delays are regulated, as for instance, nine days for citation, 
twenty days for deliberation by the judge, and five days for appeals. 
If no appeal were taken the successful party, on motion, obtained a 
definitive judgment which would indicate that the appeal was a 
method of new trial rather than the suspensive transfer of the case 
to a new court. After the judgment was final, execution could only 
be obtained by motion, and as this order was under the judge's con- 
trol it may be that here is one of the grounds for complaint against 
delays to which history points. I have foimd no writs such as we 
possess, and I judge the order of execution designated the relief or 
form of lecovery which the judge saw fit to grant. 

Appeal is treated in the fourth section and, as akeady intimated, 
this appeal went to the Cabildo in cases involving less than ninety 
thousand maravides and apparently without bond, and I am the 
more convinced of this because provisions are made for sp)eeding 
the case to a hearing within thirty days and for a decision by the 
judges within ten days thereafter. In the Cabildo the Clerk took 
charge of the record, and here it appears the original record was 
transmitted. The Cabildo appointed two regidors to hear the appeal 
conjointly with the judge who decided it, 'and the opinion of two of 
these judges governed the result and this judgment was final without 
right of further appeal. It was returned to the lower coiut for execu- 
tion. If the judgment involved more than ninety thousand mara- 
vides the appeal went to the Audencia in Havana previously de- 
scribed. An Audencia was a coiurt of last review and it had as a rule 
other duties of an administrative character, but this one at Havana 
was a special tribimal created for this particular purpose and I 
judge its functions were purely judicial. When this appeal was 
lodged, the appellee could bring up at once the preliminary question 
whether it should not be executed notwithstandirg the appeal, and 
the judge could order its execution in his discretion, but he seems 
to have had little or no discretion in certain cases, such as dowry, 
alimony, or the like, '*in which appeals should not lightly be admitt- 
ed." The same rule governed appeals in criminal cases where the 
lower judge could be induced to certifj': he had doubts or that from 
some difficulties on the trial he thought it edvisable to submit the 
judgment to the examination of the super or tribunal. Indeed, I 
should add that no appeal was allowed in criminal eases as of right; 
it depended wholly on the grace of the lower judge whether his 
sentence should be reviewed. I must also add that our records show 

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Courts and Law in ColoniaZ Louisiana 28S 

many illustrations of judicial good nature in this respect and it is 
curious that in almost each such appeal there was a reversal. 

In all appeals to the Audencia at Havana the original record 
was transmitted, but a transcript of the same was made and pre- 
served in the court below. Contemporary complaint against delays 
in this tribunal were as frequent as in our day. Moreover, it is said 
that when the case was carried beyond that tribunal to the Council 
of the Indies the appellee ceased to remember his wrongs and was 
considered fortunate if he lived to see the end of it. We do not know 
as yet what method was followed to review a decision of the Audencia. 
Neither have we foimd any authority for the exaction of a bond 
for the appeal from that court; the matter was probably in the dis- 
cretion of the upper judge. None of the Cuban records are here to 
enlighten us, but many thousands of papers from Cuba concerning 
Louisiana are still in fair state of preservation in Spain, whither they 
were removed at the close of the Spanish war of 1898. This and other 
questions must wait on their examination. 

Section 2 of the Code O'Reilly treats of executory process and 
we may pass this with the remark that one seems here to be reading 
the Louisiana Code of Practice on the same topic. It is all so de- 
lightfully familiar that we are compelled to believe our redactors 
wrote with the section before them. 

**When a debt (says the first paragraph) shall be fully 
established and it imports a confession of judgment as by an 
agreement or obligation made before a notary; by a simple note 
legally acknowledged by the drawer; by confession of judg- 
ment although without any written title from the debtor; 
by a defiritive sentence of the court, or by the cash books of 
the debtor acknowledged by him; in all these cases the credi- 
tor shall draw up a declaration setting forth his claim and his 
action annexing thereto the document which entitles him to an 
order of execution, and moving that by virtue of said document 
a writ of execution be granted him for the smn due." 

Other provisions require the judge to cause the debtor to be 
simmiored to pay the demand and, in default, his property shall be 
seized; the sheriff (Alguazil Mayor) shall make this summons. If 
the debtor complies, the execution shall cease; if otherwise, his 
property shall be seized and held unless he gives good security for 
the payment thereof. If he has not sufficient property he shall be 
imprisoned unless he be privileged against arrest for nobility or 

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286 The Louisiana Historical Qtcarterly ' 

exempted for legal cause: the military, regidors, officers of finance, 
women, lawyers, physicians, **and other distinguished persons" are 
in the exempted class. The debtor could make opposition to the 
seizure mthin three days after notiie of demand and the opposition 
must be proved within ten days at furthest. In the absence of op- 
position or on decision adverse thereto the seized property was ap- 
praised by ''two capable persons" and public notice given of the 
sale, which for movables was three notice^ in nine days and for 
immovables every nine days for thirty days, and it was sold on the 
fourth and last notice. Our Spanish records ^e full of proceedings 
via execuiiva, which with little change would serve for similar purposes 

Section 6, Of Testaments, covers instructions regarding the 
procedure in the execution of nuncupative private and public wills 
and mystic ijsrills: 

*Tor the validity of a nuncupative will it is necessary 
that the same be received by a notary In the presence of 
at least'three witnesses, residents of the place, or if there be 
no notary, there must be present five witnesses, residents of 
the place in which the will is to be made. If, however, it is 
impossible to procure the last • mentioned nimibef, three may 

That sounds like an article of the .Qvil Code. Mystic wills, 
apparently, may have been writtep by the testator or by a witness, 
for the instructions are silent^ but it is provided that it shall be 
delivered to the notary, who shall seal it, and the testator shall put 
an endorsement on the cover stating that it is his will, which must 
be signed by him and by Feven witnesses, , 

**if they cjan Avrite, and if not, the others shall eign for them, 
, . so. that there be eight signatures^ including that of the Es- 
cribano, who shall also put his signature thereto." 

The olographic will is not mentioned, but codicils are. A large 
space, proportionately, is devoted to wills made by deputy or agent 
which, from its prominerxe in the statute, must have been a thing 
of common occurrence. There are provisions covering advance- 
ment? to heirs and one may deduce that collation was so well under- 
stood that a reference was not needed in the abstract. There is a 
provision concerning legacies to legitimate descendants, as to which 
the testator 

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Courts arid Law in Colonial Louisiana 287 

"may impose such conditions in remainder or entailment 
upon the property bequeath^ as h^ may think t)roper * ♦ ♦ 
to the end that the said b^tiest'may never pass td k stranger 
unless all the relations iti the order afore.said shall be deceased/' 

Provision is made limiting the right and capacity of illegitimate 
children to inherit, and another clause covers intestacy' \there there 
are no legitimate children or ascendants. This whole section is the 
least lucid in the abstract and evidently leaves much imtouched thlat 
belongs to the subject matter. 

Sections 3 and 5 Of Crimes land Their Punishment, need not de- 
tain us except to siay that here may be found the material for an 
interesting essay, particularly because we have many records covering 
prosecutions for varied offenses; sufficient, in fact, to write the his- 
tory of the crimirlal law of Spanish Louisiana. Neither should we say 
more than we have already said regarding the fee bill. These allow- 
ances have been with us since the begiilning of time and doubtless 
will continue to follow the revolutions of the earth unto the end 
thereof, but I am tempted to add that this old 'Table of Fees'* has 
all the earmarks of an old ac(iuaintance, for we still maintain* some 
of its antique peculiarities; for instance, that venerabk ward of the 
probate court, the appraiser, was paid in that day two ducats per diem, 
about four dollars of pur money, and we are paying him that now, 
whenever our courage holds him to the fee bill! 

This review of the administrative side of the Spanish system 
leaves me, I regret to say, little room for special mention of the 
judicial records. These richly deserve attention and they will get it 
some day. Due to the method employed and to the character of the 
isvsues one may get here much closer to the life of the times than at 
any other source. I am prone to think a study of the whole era will 
modify the charges oif corruption to which I have referred. I am the 
more disposed to this view because the roll of the names of those who 
held judicial office from 1770 to 1803 includes many men whose 
reputations were then and thereafter spotless in the commimity. 
Forstall, Trudeau, Delachaise, Fbucher, Abnonaster, among the 
French Creoles, and de Reggio, Ortega and Navarro among the 
Spaniards, are names that held the respect of the people then and of 
posterity thereafter. 

I have no doubt, the evidence, indeed, is almost indubitable, 
that the government side was rotten and cursed by the love of gold, 
and it would not be strange if we found its reflection in the judiciary. 
I have not, however, seen anything in this vast array of papers to 

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288 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

indicate it. On the contrary, there is much to prove that on the 
judicial side law was equity and mildly administered, and that it was 
this regime which really created in the people of the province of 
Louisiana that undoubted love and support of the civil law and its 
ways, which fought the successful battle for that law in the territorial 
period. And now I must dwell for a moment before closing on this 
last thought, to suggest something which I have not seen recorded 
in oiu- histories, and that is this, when Claiborne took up his task, 
that herculean and unusual task of ruler, legislator and judge, for he 
combined all those powers in his single person, and at one time, he 
foimd ready to his hand a Municipal Council in New Orleans created 
by Laussat and composed of the very best material. A leading 
Creole at its head and a fair division of Creoles and Americans in 
the membership. Just such a body as the recently deceased Cabildo 
and not greatly differing from the old Superior Council. Could 
Claiborne, with his supreme authority, have been led to confer 
judicial fimctions on that body he might have altered our legal 
destiny. We would possibly have slipped gradually into an acquain- 
tance .with the other system and in time have forgotten the mild 
sway of the past under the equally mild justice of a judiciar>' which 
had the confidence of the inhabitants. If the idea occurred to him 
he never expressed it and on the contrary created at once, practically 
his first act, a Court of Common Pleas, after the model of his home 
system in Tennessee and Virginia. He filled its bench with judges 
who spoke his tongue; he established that language in its reccM^s, 
and out of his common law experience he devised rules for this court 
absolutely foreign to an^^ing the Creoles had ever heard or experi- 
enced. He repeated from another angle O'Reilly's ruthless policy. 
The Creoles took it as a challenge and the war which was thus started 
ended only when, by congressional relief and ultimate admission 
to the Union with full right of citizenship, the natives of Louisiana 
wrote into their fundamental law that principle which preserved the 
civil law. That law had been the leading institution of Louisiana 
for one hundred years before Claiborne came among us. We have 
added another hundred or more years to that score. We may 
therefore, say that our civilization is based on its principles; that by 
ancestry, birth, breeding and training we are civilians, and this 
condition must at least persist until this generation passes. A new 
school may teach a different principle, but until this is done the civil 
law must remain. Whether it rests with us to preserve that system 
or to join hands with our sister states and go over to a new school 
is for the future to decide. But I say to you before we commit that 

Digitized by 


Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana 289 

decision to the future let us make up the record. Let us put our ar- 
chives in shape for the children who will soon take our places, that 
they may study the past and plan for the future. With our history 
ready, and the archives as our text, let posterity make up the judg- 

I cannot sit down without appealing for action by you on this 
vital matter. You should create a committee on archives, charged 
with the duty to study the problem and to recommend relief. I have 
talked about French and Spanish records, now scattered in New 
Orleans, Baton Rouge, Natchitoches and St. Martinville, but ar- 
cJiives is a small word with a large meaning. It covers every public 
and private docimient bearing on any feature of life and government 
in Louisiana as a colony of France, as a province of Spain, as a terri- 
tory of the United States, and as a sovereign State. The Committee 
should build a plan which will sustain and protect these archives and 
open them to public use. The legislature will imdoubtedly respond 
to your appeal. The Bar Association has led in many great move- 
ments for the public good. Here lies an opportunity to crown your 
work; the time is opportune; the object noble. Why not act now and 
act quickly? 

Digitized by 



" , - • . ; , ii'" ■.-'•. 1 - • I ■ . 

' ' DECEASED SuiciDE. 


THE ATTOilNBY GENERAL. ^ ^^^^' ^^^^^ ^^ 

• bef6ri!j the superior 



From the French Becorda in the Cabildo. 
Edited by Henry P. Dart. 

Our general history of the French period tells of two in- 
stances of indictments of dead men for suicide. Gayarre (1:499) 
mentions Labarre'& case in 1738, and says that "a curator was 
appointed to the corpse which was indicted, tried, convicted and 
sentenced to be deprived of Christian burial and to lie rotting and 
blackening on the face of the earth among the offal, bones and 
refuse of the butchers' stall," but we have not found the record 
of this case. Fortier (1:248-251) gives full details of Servinien's 
case 1752 where a similar prosecution resulted in the exonera- 
tion of the suicide's memory on the ground that he was tem- 
porarily insane. This record, fortunately, has been preserved,' 
and all the papers connected with the incident are in our ar- 
chives. Aside from its curious interest this Servinien case is 
valuable to the legal historian, because it is a perfect example of 
the Louisiana procedure under the Criminal Ordinance of France 
of 1670. We learn from it just what that procedure was, and 
what part the several officials of the Colony took in such prose- 
cutions. From the record it appears that the corpse was treated 
just as a living person would be for the purpose of prosecution, 
trial and conviction. 

It seems curious in this day that so much time, trouble and 
expense would be expended: upon a suicide who had passed 
beyond this world's pursuit. But suicide in French procedure 
was a crime "homicide," and the punishment was a denial of 
Christian burial, the decedent's memory was made infamous 

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Se^vinien^s Case, 1752 , . 89X 

and at one period his estate was forfeited. » Christian burial not 
only meant much in those days, but the suicide's heirs suffered 
physically as well, for the "infamy" defscended upon them. " The 
poor fellow in' this instance was a humbl^^ half-crazed young sol- 
dier, but the majesty of the law had to be protected, and it 
enforced the duty upon the authorities to proceed in its vindica- 
tion. The result here is that there has survive^ for our instruc- 
tion this very unique and perfect set of the forms in use iiji 
French Colonial Louisiana in all cases of criminal nature. We 
have printed the recprd of another criminal prosecution, with 
which this may be compared. See Degout's Case, 3 Lia. Hist. 
Quarterly p. 294. 

The documents have been translated by Mrs. H. H. Cruzat 
and have been carefully studied by others, so as to insure a final 
edition of the record for future use. We also print the text 
for the satisfaction of the student who may Wish to use the 
original forms. 

There are ten documents in the record, viz: 

1. 1752, April 17. Information or proces verbal of Atty. Gen- 

eral Fleuriau and Clerk Henry covering 
visit to the scene of suicide and ihspection 
of the corpse. 

2. 1752, April 18. Inquest by Jean Baptiste Raguei, Coun- 

cillor of the Superior Council^ with testi- 
mony adduced thereat. 

8. 1752, April 19. Proces verbal covering inquiry into sur- 
reptitious removal of the corpse. 

4. 1752, April 19. Appointment of Curator t6 defend the 

memory of deceased. 

5. 1752, April 20. Reexamination of witnesses before Ra- 

guet and Fleuriau. 

6. 1752, April 20. Interrogation by Raguet of Pierre Cecille, 


7. 1752, April 21. Confrontation of witnesses before Raguet 

and Cecille. 

8. 1752, May 5. Opinion of Fleuriau. 

9. 1752, May 5. Confrontation of Cecille. 

10. 1752, May 6. Decision of the Superior Council. 

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292 The Louisia/na Historicdl Quarterly 


I. Proces Verbal of- Judicial Inquest of Attorney General Fleuriau and 
Clerk Henry Upon the Suicide of Andre Servinien. 

April 17, 1752. 

In the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two, on 
the seventeenth day of April, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, we, 
Francois Fleuriau, Attorney General of the King in the Superior 
Council of the province of Louisiana, on information given by 
Sr Francois Simare de Bellisle, a bachelor, Major of the troops in 
this city, that there was a soldier in the neighborhood of the bar- 
racks, on the side of the Intendency, who had blown off his head 
with a gun. 

We went to the said neighborhood, where, having entered 
the first yard, accompanied by the clerk of the Council, we were 
led to another small yard where were the privies ; there we saw 
a corpse stretched on his back with his gun between his legs and 
a bad knife on the trigger of the said gun. This man is a sol- 
dier, we are told, named Andre Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, 
a soldier of Benoist's company. His whole skull was carried 
away and his brains blown at a distance f roni his head. We saw 
the marks of the bullets against the wall of said place, which 
made us think that the said soldier blew out his brains standing, 
the barrel of the gun apparently resting against his forehead, 
and that he used his foot to let the trigger loose; the said gun was 
still lying between his legs. We then ordered that the body be 
transported to the Royal Hospital of this city to have it laid on 
the ground, and to institute proceedings against the said corpse 
on our demand and we have drawn up the present proces verbal 
to serve and avail as need shall be. 

At New Orleans, the above mentioned day, month and year. 
Signed : "Fleuriau". 

"Henry, clerk" (paraph). 

2. Inquiry by Judge Raguet on Suicide of One Andre Servinien.. 

April 18, 1752. 
Inquiry conducted by us, Jean Baptiste Raguet, Councillor of 
the King in the Superior Council of the Province of Louisiana, on 
petition of the Attorney General of the King, plaintiff and accuser 

Digitized by 


Servinien's Case, 175i 293 

against the memory of a soldier named Andre Servinien, so-called 
La Rochelle, charged with having committed homicide and de- 
stroyed himself by a gun shot in the head, which inquiry was 
conducted as follows on his life and morals as well as on his homi- 

April eighteenth, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two, 
three o'clock in the afternoon. 

Joseph Odoy, a soldier of Benoist's company, garrisoned in 
this city, aged twenty-six years, of the Catholic, apostolic and 
Roman religion, who having sworn to speak the truth, declared 
that he was neither a relative, a connection, nor a servant of the 
parties, and that he was cited on this day to testify to the truth on 
request of the Attorney General of the King, by a notice which he 
returned to us. 

Testifies on the facts mentioned in the complaint of the 
Attorney General of the King, which was read to him, that one 
La Rochelle, a soldier of his company and one of his mess, killed 
himself yesterday at eight or nine o'clock in the morning, with his 
gun near the privies, that he, the witness, on what was told him, 
went to see him with the motive of going to get water from the 
river and found him dead ; that an hour before this happened the 
same soldier had taken up a knife saying that he wanted to kill 
himself, that every day as soon as he was in the least intoxicated or 
that he had drunk a dram he was in a terrible passion, continually 
saying that he would kill himself with a knife and that his com- 
rades have often prevented his furies and his fits of violence, that 
in his frenzy he even threatened to kill his father ; that on account 
of his violence and his bad temper he never wished to associate 
with him and that it is probable that at times he was out of his 
mind, that he never knew him well enough to form a just opinion, 
and he said that this was all he knew, the present testimony being 
read to him he said that it was the truth, persisted therein and 
declared that he did not know how to write nor sign. On this in- 
quiry following the ordinance. 
Signed: "Raguet". 

"Henry, clerk" (paraph). 

Jean Louis Rabigou, a soldier of Benoist's company, gar- 
risoned in this jcity, aged twenty-five years, professing* the 
catholic, apostolic and Roman religion, after having sworn to 

Digitized by 


294 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

speak the truth declared that he was neither a relative, a connec-» 
tion nor a servant of the parties arid that he had been cited this 
day to testify to the truth in response to a notic^' served on him at 
request of the Attorney General, which notice he showed us. 

Testifies on the facts mentioned in the complaint of the 
Attorney General of the King, which was read to him, that he 
knows that one SerVinien, so-called La Rochelle, a soldier of the 
same company as himself, who killed himself yesterday morning 
with his gun, was often in extraordinary passion and fury,' even 
taking a knife to plunge it into his stomach and whilst cursing 
and denying God, would draw blood from it with the kriife, which 
often made the witness shudder, who prevented him from killiilg 
himself and that the comrades of his mess had also prevented him 
from taking his life ; that he often cursed and stormdd against 
his father saying that he would never forgive him, that he thinks 
that when that man had drunk a few drams he was out of his 
mind, and he and his companions said so, which^ he said, was all 
he knew; his testinlony being read to him, he said it was the truth, 
persisted therein and did not ask for pay. Signed : "Raguet/ ■ 


"Henry, clerk'- (paraph). 

Pierre Fflhev, a soldier of Senoist's company, aged twenty- 
three years, professing the catholic, apostolic and Roman religion, 
after having sworn to speak the truth, declared that he was 
neither a relative, a connection, nor a servant of the parties and 
that he had been this day cited to testify the truth in response to 
a notice served on request of the Attorney General, which notice 
he presented to us. 

Testifies on the facts mentioned in the complaint of the 
Attorney General of the King, which was read to him, that he 
was of the same mess as one Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, T^ho 
killed himself yesterday morning with a gun, that the said La 
Rochelle went into fury and had outbursts of insanity always 
saying that he would kill and destroy himself and his father too, 
that he would never forgive him for what he had done him, that 
he often took a knife to plunge into his body, that he and his com- 
rades had often prevented his doing so, and that as he was not a 
sociable man and that he was not in his right mind, he and they did 
not associate with him, that they always thought that he was out 
of his mind, which, he said, was all he knew, and his testimony 

Digitized by 


Servinien's tUdse, 1752 ' ' ' ' 295 

being read toliimhe said that it was the truth, persisted therein 
and declared that he did not know how to write nor sign, where- 
upon inquiry as per ordinance and he did request pay. 
Signed: 'Tlaguet". 

"Henry, clerk" (paraph). 

Andre Desjardins, a soldier of Benoist's company, gar- 
risoned in this city, aged fifty-five years, professing the catholic, 
apostolic and Roman religion, after having sworn to speak the 
truth,, declared that he was not a relative, nor a connection, nor 
a servant of the parties, and that he was cited on this day on re- 
quest of the Attorney General to testify the truth, which notice 
he presented us. 

Testifies on the facts mentioned in the complaint of the 
Attorney General, which was read to him, that one Servinien, 
so-called La Rochelle, a soldier of their company and of their 
mess, killed himself yesterday morning at eight. or nine o'clock, 
by blowing out his brains with his gun ; that an hour before he had 
tried to kill himself with a knife and threw it away, that it ap- 
peared to him and tp his comrades that he was out of his mind, 
that at the canteen he went from table to table taking the bottles 
and drinking like a demented man, that he was prone to terrible 
angers, swearing that he would destroy himself and his father and 
that his bad conduct often caused him to be imprisoned, that he 
was so unsociable that neither the witness nor any of his comrades 
wished to keep company with him, which, h^ said, was all he 
knew; the present testimony having been read to him he said that 
it was the truth, persisted therein and declared that he did not 
know how to write nor sign, whereupon inquiry as per ordinance. 
Signed: "Ragruet". "Henry, clerk" (paraph). 

3. Removal of Suicide's Corpse. 

Proces Verbal of the Removal of the Corpse of Servinien, 
Alibis La Rochelle. 
April 19, 1752. 
In the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two, 
on the nineteenth of April, before noop, before us, Jean Baptiste 
Raguet, Councillor of the king in the Superior Council of ^Lou- 
isiana, Commissary in this case, appeared M. the Attorney Gen- 
eral of the King, who told us that he had just been informed that 

Digitized by 


296 The LouisiaTia Historical Quarterly 

the corpse of one Andre Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, which 
was deposited in a cabin of the King's hospital of this city, was 
carried away last night. 

He is prosecuting a criminal suit against his memory to have 
him punished as homicide of himself to the full rigor of the King's 
ordinances. • 

Wherefore he requested us to go with him and the clerk of 
the Council to the said hospital, where we asked one Baptiste and 
two surgical students where the corpse in question had been 
deposited. They told us that the corpse had without doubt been 
removed during the night as it was there last evening in the cabin, 
in a box which they had laid on the ground two days ago ; that they 
do not know nor have any knowledge whatever of who could have 
carried it away since they do not sleep at the hospital. We after- 
wards went to the yard of the said hospital where the said cabin 
stands, and after a thorough examination we found no break nor 
breach. Having likewise examined the fence which surrounds the 
said yard we saw nothing displaced, and at the same moment 
appeared two Ursuline nuns who are in charge of the said hos- 
pital and the sick, one of them named Magdelen and the other 
Saint Xavier; we asked them if they knew anything about the 
removal of the corpse and they said they knew nothing as they 
had gone back and retired to their beds in their monastery, that 
only this morning at four or five o'clock it was reported to them 
that the corpse was no longer there and that it had probably been 
carried away in the night during the bad weather whilst it rained 
and thundered, which was all that we could find out concerning 
the said removal, wherief ore we have drawn up the present proces 
verbal to hold and serve as needs be, even the sick having told us 
that they had not perceived anything. 

Done at the Hospital the above day, month and year. 
Signed: "Raguet". "Fleuriau". 

"Henry, clerk" (paraph) 

4. Appointment of Curator. 

Appointment of a Curator to the Memory of One Servinien, 

Alias La Rochelle. 

April 19, 1752. 

Before us, Councillor Commissary in this case, the complaint 

brought by M. the Attorney General of the King, against one 

Digitized by 


S^vinien's Case, 175* 297 

Andre Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, soldier, on date of the 
eighteenth instant, the order of M. Michel, Councillor of the 
King in his Councils, Commissary General of the^ Marine and In- 
tendant (ordonnateur) of Louisiana, below the said complaint, 
of the said day, the conclusions of the Attorney General of the 
King, we the above mentioned Commissary considering that the 
said suicide Servinien has no relatives in this colony, have offi- 
cially appointed one Pierre Cecille, inhabitant of this colony, who 
will be cited before us to accept the said charge and be sworn. 

Given at New Orleans, this nineteenth of Aprils one thousand 
seven hundred and fifty-two, in the morning. 
Signed: "Raguet". 

"Henry (paraphe) clerk". 

In the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two, on th^ 
nineteenth day of April, at two o'clock in the afternoon appeared 
before us, above named and undersigned commissary, one Pierre 
Cecille, farmer, residing in this city, officially appointed by us as 
curatot* to the corpse and memory of one Andre Servinien, so^ 
called La Rochelle, soldier garrisoned in this city, on account of 
the criminal prosecution extraordinarily instituted by us, on re- 
quest of the Attorney General of the King, said Cecille, here 
present, has voluntarily accepted the said charge of curator and 
has sworn to defend well and faithfully the memory of the said . 
Servinien, of which act was passed and signed on the above men- 
tioned day, month and year and have signed : "P. Cecille". 
"Raguet" "Henry (paraph) clerk". 

5. Re- Examination of Witnesses Heard Against Servinien. 

April 20, 1752. 
In the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two, on 
the twentieth day of April, ii> the afternoon, before us, Jean Bapr 
tiste Raguet, Councillor in the Superior Council of Louisiana, ap- 
peared the Attorney General of the King, who told us that, in 
execution of our order of the said day, in the forenoon, he had 
cited one Joseph Odoy, Jean Louis Rabidou, Pierre Filhev and 
Andre Desjardins, soldiers of Benoist's company, detached troops 
of the marine maintained in this colony, and witnesses heard in 
the first inquiry conducted at his request, on the eighteenth of 
the present month against one Andre Servinien, so-called La Ro- 

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298 The Loicmamliistoricdl (^imrterly 

chelle, soldier of this said colhl^'any, 'accusield of having blown off 
his head with hfs gUli, to be re-exaihined in their testimony 
thiroiigh hblicb served oh them by Le Norman, sheriff, on this day, 
which notice his irt'es^iited to tlfi ahd demanded that he be able to 
prbceM to 're-exaihiha'tiion of ^tnesses. 

Whei^\ipon A*'e gaVe a tertificafe to said Attorney General 
of his appear^fite aiid requisition arid' ordered that we immediate- 
ly proceed to the re-€l!xaiiiiniation of the witnesses and the said 
Attorney General of the King retired.' 

And on the ttiomerit appeared Joseph Odoy, soldier of Be- 
noist's company, first witness testifying before us in the inquiry 
conducted by us on request of the said Attorney General. After 
he had taken an okth to speak the truth, we read to Odoy the 
testimony given by him at the said inquiry and after having heard 
it he said it Was tlie'truth and that he does hot wish to add to nor 
take anything ftotti it and persisted therein; the present re-ex- 
amitiatibn beinig read to him he also persisted and declared that 
he did not know how to write nor sign, whereupon inquiry as per 
Signed: "Raguet".' 

"Henry (paraph) clerk". 

Also appeared Jfean Louis Rabidou, ia soldier of Benoist'a 
company garrisoned in this city, secbnd Witness testifying in the 
said inquiry, to Whom, afteir he had sworn to speak the truth, we 
read the testimony giveh by him at the said inquiry, and after 
having heard it!, he said that it is the truth and that he does not 
wish to add to nor take from it and that he persists therein. The 
present re-^xamination being read to him he also persisted and 
declared that he did not know how to read nor sign, whereupon 
inquiry as per ordinance and aftei;wards signed: 

"J, L. Rabidou" 
''Z^g\j^ \ V. ' ,. ' i- /., "Henry (paraph) clerk". 

Also appeiared Pierre ^ilhev, a sdldier of BenoiSt's company 
garrisoned in this city, third Witness' heard in the said inquiry, to 
whom, after he had sworn to spieak tile truth, we' read the testi- 
m6riy giyi6h by him at the said inquiry, iand aftfer having heard 
it he said that it is wholly true,^that he has' nothing to add to nor 
to ^ice f roni it and that he persists therein? The present re- 
examination teing read to him he also ipersisted and declared that 

Digitized by 


Servinien'8 Case, 1752 299 

he did not know how to write nor sign, whereupon inquiry ab 
per ordinance. Signed : "Raguet". 

. "Henry, clerk" (paraph) 

Also appeared Andre Desjardins, a soldier of Benoist's com- 
pany garrisoned in this city, fourth witness heard in the said in- 
quiry, to whom was read, after he had sworn to speak the truth, 
the testimony given by him at the said inquiry and after having 
heard it, he said that it is true throughout, that there is nothing 
to add to it nor to take from it and he persisted therein ; the pres- 
ent re-examination being read to him he persisted in it and de- 
clared that he did not know how to write nor sign, whereupon in- 
quiry as per ordinance. 
Signed : "Raguet". "Henry, clerk'' (paraph) 

6. Interrogation of the Curator of Servinien. 

April 20, 1752. 

In the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two, on the 
twentieth day of April, before noon, before us, J^an Baptiste 
Baguet, Councillor of the King in his Superior Council of the 
Province of Louisiana, Commissary appointed on this case, being 
in the Registry of the Superior Council of the said province, ap- 
peared one Pierre Cecille, residing in this city, officially ap- 
pointed by us as curator to the memory of one Andre Servinien, 
so-called La Rochelle, a solder in one of the companies of detached 
troops of the marine maintained in this colony, who committed 
suicide and the said curator has told us that he is ready and offers 
to undergo interrogation on the facts shown by the inquiry con- 
ducted by us on demand of the Attorney General of the King 
against the memory of Andre Servinien, requesting that it please 
us to give him a certificate of his appearance and to proceed to 
his interrogation, and has signed : "Cecile". Whereupon we have 
given certificate to said Pierre Cecille in the said names of his 
appearance and above demand and have ordered that we imme-» 
diately proceed to the interrogation of the said curator, 

And on the moment the said Pierre Cecille was sworn to 
speak the truth on the facts on which it will please us to inter- 
rogate him. 

This done, we interrogated him on his age, qualifications and 

Digitized by 


300 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

He said his name is Pierre Cecille, residing in this city, where 
he is usually domiciled, aged about forty-five years, professing the 
catholic, apostolic and Roman religion. 

Interrogated if he knows for what cause he has been ap- 
pointed curator in this occasion ; 

He answered that as one Andre Servinien, a soldier of a 
company of detached troops of the marine, was found in the place 
where the privies were formerly situated in one of the buildings 
of the barracks/ who, it is thought, killed himself with his gun, 
has no relatives in this colony and he was appointed by judgment 
rendered yesterday official curator to the said Andre Servinien, 
who is no more, his body having been carried off during the night 
between the eighteenth and the nineteenth, as he heard through 
public rumor. 

Interrogated if he knew for what cause for which the said 
soldier killed himself. 

He answered that he knows nothing of it, but, that as the said 
soldier was of unsound mind, having spells of anger, fury and 
frenzied passion, it is not surprising that he took this occasion 
to kill himself. 

Interrogated if he had sometimes seen him in his spells he 
answered that he had not but that he had heard his Comrades 
say that he was a lunatic and that they had often reprimanded 
him for this cause, but that he could not understand reason when 
his fury took possession of him. 

Interrogated if he had not heard that he had had some 
disagreement with one of his comrades who might have taken 
this occasion to kill him. 

He answered that he had not and that he does not think that 
any of his comrades killed him as they avoided him on account of 
his frenzies, that he often went out of his way for that purpose, 
and that it was particularly when he had drunk and even after 
his wine had finished working he was more of a lunatic than 

Interrogated if he had anything personal to say concerning 
the charge against or the discharge of Servinien's memory, he 
answered that he has nothing else to say unless it be that he was 
a lunatic and that his act was caused, in his opinion, more by 
insanity than by despair, all the more so since it appeared from 
the testimony that he spoke only of killing his father and him- 

Digitized by 


Servimen*8 Case, 1752 301 

self afterwards and that he had even tried to stab himself in the 
stomach with a knife, which his comrades often prevented. 

The present interrogation having been read to him he said 
that his answers are the truth, he persisted thereon and signed : 


Let it be communicated to the Attorney General of the King. 
At New Orleans, May 4, 1752. 

Signed: "Raguet" 

7. Confrontation of Witnossot Hoard Against Sorvinion. 

April 21, 1752. 

Confrontation conducted by us, Jean Baptiste Raguet, Coun- 
cillor of the King^ in his Superior Council of the province of Lou- 
isiana, Commissioner appointed on this case, on request of the 
Attorney General of the King, plaintiff and accuser against the 
memory of one Andre Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, a soldier of 
a company of detached troops of the Marine maintained in this 
colony, accused of having taken his life, of the witnesses who 
testified at the inquiry conducted by us on the eighteenth of the 
present month, and this in execution of our sentence of the nine- 
teenth of the present month, in which confrontation we proceeded 
as follows : 

On April twenty-first, one thousand seven hundred and fifty- 
two, at three o'clock in the afternoon, appeared before us Pierre 
Cecille, Curator appointed to the memory of Andre Servinien, so- 
called La Rochelle, a soldier of Benoist's company, a detached 
troop of the Marine maintained in this colony, at present gar- 
risoned in this city, charged with having committed suicide, 
with whom we confronted Joseph Odoy, a soldier of the said 
company, first witness at the inquiry, and after the curator as 
well as the witness had been sworn to speak the truth and chal- 
lenged to say if they knew each other, said viz : 

The said Curator that he does not know the said witness, 
and the said witness that he knows Pierre Cecille by sight as a 
resident of this city. After which we ordered the clerk of the 
said Council to read the first articles of the testimony of the 
witness stating his age, profession and residence and his decla- 
ration that he is not related to the said accused, nor to the said 
Curator. The Curator being challenged, as such, to state any 

Digitized by 


302 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

objection to the testimony of the said witness immediately, or that 
in default of so doing no exception will be considered after testi- 
mony and re-examination shall have been read to him as per or- 
dinance which we made him understand ; 

To which the said Curator answered that he had no objec- 
tion to make against the said witness no more than the said wit- 
ness against the said Curator. 

This done we had the testimony and re-ex:amination read to 
the said witness in presence of the said Curator for the accused, 
the said witness said that his testimony was the truth and thus 
maintained tq tti^.said Curator, and th;^t he. meant to speak of 
the accused in his testimony and re-examination, and persisted 
therein, and the said Curator said that he did not take exception 
to the witness's testimony and believes it to be the truth. 

The present confrontation being read to the said Cecille, 
Curat9r, and to the said witness, each persisted in what he had 
said and the said Curator signed, but not the said witness, who 
declared that he did not know how to write- lior sign, whereupon 
inquiry as per ordinance. 
Signed: "Cecile'V "Raguet". 

Then appeared before us, in presence of the Curator, Jean 
Louis Rabideau, a soldier of Benoist's company, second witness 
testifying at the said inquiry and after the said Curator as well 
as the said witness had been sworn to speak the truth, and chal- 
lenged to say if they knew each other, they said that they were 
not acquainted but that they both knew the said suicide, after 
which we ordered our clerk of Council to read the first articles of 
the testimony of the said witness stating his name, profession and 
residence and his declaration that he is neither a relative, a con- 
nection, attendant nor servant of said accused, and the Curator 
being challenged to state any objections to said witness imme- 
diately, otherwise, and in default of so doing, none would be ac- 
cepted after the testimony and re-examination were read to him 
as per ordinance, which we gave him to understand. 

To all of which the said Curator and the said witness answer- 
ed that they had no objections to make to each other, in any way 

This done we read the testimony and re-examination of the 
said witness, in presence of the said Curator, the witness saying 
that his testimony is the truth^and thus maintained it to the said 

Digitized by 


Servinien'e Case, 1752 803 

Curator and that it was of the accused he meant to speak in his 
testimony and his re-examination and therein persisted. 

To which the said Curator answered that he thinks that all 
that the said witness said is the truth as well as himself in his in- 
terrogation, knowing the said accused as a man often unsound 
of mind and a lunatic and the said witness said that he thought 
the same. 

The present confrontation being read to the said Curator and 
to the said witness both persisted therein in what concerned each 
and the said Curator signed, but not the said witness, who de- 
clared that he did not know how, to write nor sign, whereupon in- 
quiry as per ordinance. Signed: "Cecile". 


Then appeared before us, in the presence of the said Curator, 
Andre Desjardins, a soldier of Benoist's company, the fourth wit- 
ness testifying at the said inquiry and after th^ said Curator as 
well as the said witness had been sworn to speak the truth, chal- 
lenged to say if they knew each other, they said they knew each 
other very well, namely that the Curator knew Desjardins to be 
a soldier of Benoisf s company and the said soldier, knew the 
said Cecile, Curator, to be a resident of this city, and that they 
had both known the said Andre Servinien, so-called La Rochelle 
accused of having killed himself, to be a soldier of Benoist's said 
company, after which we ordered the clerk of the Council to 
read the first articles of the testimony of the said witness stating 
his name, profession and residence and his declaration that he is 
not a relative, a connection nor a servant of the said accused and 
we challenged the said Curitor to state immediately any objection 
against the said witness, otherwise, and failing to do so at this 
moment none will be accepted after his testimony and re-exami- 
nation shall have been read to him as per ordinance which we 
made him understand. 

To which the said Curator and the said witness said that they 
had no objections to make to each other. 

This done we had the testimony and the re-examination read 
to the said witness, in the presence of the said Curator; the said 
Witness, said that his testimony and re-examination are the truth 
and thus maintained to the said Curator, and that it was really of 
the accused that he meant to speak in his testimony and re-ex- 
amination and persisted therein. 

Digitized by 


804 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

To which the said Curator answered that he had naught to 
answer and that he thinks that the said testimony of the said 
witness is just. 

The present confrontation and testimony being read to the 
said Curator and to .the said witness, each persisted therein in 
what concerned him and the said Curator signed, but not the said 
Des jar dins, witness, who declared that he did not know how to 
write nor sign, whereupon inquiry as per ordinance. 

Signed: "Cecile" 


Next appeared before me, above mentioned Commissioner, in 
the presence of the said Cecille, Curator, one Pierre Filhev, third 
witness testifying at the said inquiry, and after the said Curator 
and witness had been sworn to speak the truth, challenged to say 
if they knew each other they said they knew each other very 
well, as they also knew the said Andre Servinien, so-called La 
Rochelle to be a soldier of Benoist's company. 

After which we ordered the clerk of the Council to read the 
first articles of the testimony of said witness, containing his age, 
profession and residence and his declaration that he is neither a 
relative, a connection nor a servant of the said accused nor of the 
said Curator. 

We challenged the said Curator, as such, to state immediately 
any objection he might wish to make, otherwise, and in default 
of so doing at this moment, none will be accepted after the testi- 
mony and the re-examination shall have been read to him as per 
prdinance which we made him understand. 

To which the said Curator and the said witness said that they 
had no objections to offer each other in any way. 

This done we read the testimony and the re-examination of 
the said witness in the presence of the said Curator, the witness 
said that his testimony and re-examination are true and thus 
maintained to the said Curator, and that it is really of the accused 
he meant to speak in his testimony and re-examination and therein 

And the said Curator answered that he believed all that the 
said witness had said in his testimony and re-examination to 
be true. 

The present confrontation being read to the said Curator and 
to the said witness, each persisted in what concerned him and the 

Digitized by 


Servinien'8 Case, 1752 306 

said Curator signed, but not the said witness, who declared that 
he did not know how to write nor sign, whereupon inquiry as 
per ordinance 

Signed: "Cecile". "Raguet". 

8. Conclufion of tho Attorney Qonoriil. 

May 5, 1752. 

The Attorney General of the King plaintiff and accuser 

The Memory of one Andre Servinien, accused of having 
^ suicided by shooting himself. 

Before us, Commissioner on this case, all the proceedings of 
this prosecution instituted by us, the whole examined, my opinion 
is, without prejudice to yours, Gentlemen, that the memory of 
the said Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, a soldier of this garrison, 
be discharged of the accusation, inasmuch as the testimony of 
the witnesses in this affair shows that the accused was often un- 
sound of mind, getting into extraordinary furies, so far as want- 
ing to kill himself and even threatening to kill his father, and 
that, during the whole morning of the day on which he shot him- 
self, he had shown signs of his fury and insanity. 
At New Orleans, this fifth of May, 1752. 

Signed: "Raguet". 
On reverse of document : 
"To Mr 

Mr Raguet, Councillor, 
Police Judge 

At New Orleans. 

9. Intorrogation of Curator in Opon Court. 

Criminal Session of the Superior Council, 
May 6, 1752. 
May 6, 1752. 
Interrogation of Curator to Memory of Servinien, so-called 

La Rochelle. 
Where were assembled Messrs de Vaudreuil, Governor; 
Michel, Commissary General of the Marine, Intendant and First 
Judge; Sieur and Councillor de Membrede, Major of New Orleans; 

Digitized by 


306 The Louisiana Historical Qvxirterly 

Raguet, Councillor; Le Breton, de Lalande, Kemion and Lafre- 
niere, Councillors assessors. 

On information of the Attorney General of the King against 
the memory of Andre Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, a soldier of 
Benoist's company, accused ^f having committed suicide, and also 
Pierre Cecille, Curator appointed to the memory of the said ac- 

Before us the criminal prosecution extraordinarily instituted 
against the said Servinien : The Council has ordered that the said 
Pierre Cecile, Curator, be cited to be interrogated. This done, 
after he had sworn to speak the truth, we interrogated him on his 
age, qualifications and residence. 

He said that he was named Pierre Cecile, inhabitant of this 
city, aged forty-five years, professing the Catholic, Apostolic and 
Roman religion and that he has been appointed Curator to the 
memory of Andre Servinien. 

Signed: "Michel". 
Michel. — First Judge Conducts the Examination : 

Interrogated if he knows anything besides what was asked in 
his interrogation, he said he had nothing else to say but what he 
had answered. 

Interrogated if it is true that the accused said that he wished 
to kill his father, he answered : Yes, that he had truly heard him 
say in his folly that if he returned to France he would kill his 
father and that he had even tried to kill himself several times. 

The present interrogation being read to him, he said that it is 
the truth, persisted therein and signed: "Cecile", "Vaudreuil", 
"'Michel", "D'Auberville", "Delalande", "Huchet de Kemion", "Le 

10. Final Judgment. 

Criminal Session, May 6, 1752. 

Judgment of Absolution of Memory of Servinien, so-called 

La Rochelle. 
Were present Messrs de Vaudreuil, Governor ; Michel, Com- 
missary General of the Marine, Intendant (Ordonnateur) and 
First Judge; Dauberville, Commissary of the Marine, second 
Councillor; de Membrede, Major of New Orleans; Raguet, Coun- 

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Servinien'8 Case, 1752 307 

cillor ; Le Bretton, Delalande, Kernion, and Laf reniere, Councillors 

On demand of the Attorney General of the King, plaintiff and 
accuser against 

One Andre Servinien, so-called La Rochelle, a soldier of Be- 
noist's company, deceased and accused of having blown off his 
head with his gun. 

And Pierre Cecille, resident, appointed curator to the memory 
of said accused : 

Before us the proces verbal of the inquest held at the place 
where he killed himself, by the Attorney General, accompanied by 
the clerk of the Council on the seventeenth of last April, 

The petition presented by the said Attorney General of the 
King and the order below it granting permission to prosecute 
criminally the assassination or homicide before M. Raguet, Coun- 

Appointment of Curator to corpse, and inquiry, re-examina- 
tion, interrogation and confrontation the whole on date of the 
eighteenth of the said month. 

Inquiry of the said day of four witnesses who testified, the 
appointment of Pierre Cecille, a resident, as curator to the corpse 
on the nineteenth of the said month, the curator being sworn on 
that day, 

Interrogation of Pierre Cecille, curator, on the twentieth of 
the said month, 

Re-examination of the witnesses on the said day. 

Confrontation of the said witnesses who testified at the said 
inquiry with Pierre Cecille, curator, on the twentieth of the said 

The proces verbal of the removal of the corpse of the nine- 
teenth of the said month, 

The conclusions of the Attorney General of the King on this 
day, the whole seen and examined, the Council has rendered a 
decision, resulting from the inquiry that the said Andre Servinien, 
so-called La Rochelle, was not sound of mind, being a lunatic, 
and subject to fits of fury, has discharged his memory of the said 

Given in the Council Chamber, May sixth, one thousand seven 
hundred and fifty-two. 

Signed: "Vaudreuil". "Michel". "D'auberville". "Delalande". 
"Huchet de Kernion". "Raguet". "Le Bretton". 

Digitized by 


808 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Original Text. 

Proems Verbal of Judicial Visit to Corpso of Suicida. 

17« avril 1752. 

Original Text: 

Proces verbal of judicial inquest of Attorney General Fleuriau 
and Clerk Henry upon the suicide of Andre Servinien. 

Lan mil sept cent cinquante deux le dix septieme jour d'avril 
dix heures du matin nous Francois Fleuriau, Procureur General 
du Roy, au Conseil Superieur de la Province de la Louisianne sur 
lavis qui nous a 6t6 donn6 par le Sr. Francois Simare de Bellisle, 
garcon major des trouppes en cette ville quil y avoit un soldat dans 
le quartier des cazernes du cote de lintendance qui s'etoit cass6 
la teste dun coup de fusil. Nous nous sommes transportes dans 
les quartier ou etant entre dans la premiere cour accompagne du 
Gref f ier du Conel Lon Nous a conduit dans une autre petite cour 
ou etoient les latrines avons vu un cadavre etandu sur le dos avec 
son fusil entre les jambes at un mauvais couteau a la gachette du 
dit fusil, lequel est soldat Lon Nous a dit sapeller Andre Servinien 
dit La Rochelle, soldat de la Compagnie de Benoist ayant tout le 
crane enleve et la cervelle sautee plus d'a un pas de distance de 
sa teste et avons vu des marques de balles contre le mur du dit 
endroit, ce qui nous a fait juger que led, soldat sest cass6 la teste 
etant debout le canon aparement appuye contre le front et se Sera 
servy de son pied pour f aire lacher la gachette du fusil ledt fusil 
encore etendu entre ses jambes, ensuite de quoy avons ordonne de 
le f aire transporter dans Lhopital Royal de cette ville pour le f aire 
soller et instruire le proces audt cadavre a notre requete et avons 
dress^le present proces verbal pour servir et valloir a ce que de 
raison a la Nouvelle Orleans les susdits jour mois et an. 


Henry Greff (paraphe). 

No. 2. 

N'. 1303. 


Information Sur le Suicide du Nomme AndrS Servinien. 

Information faite par nous Jean Bte Raguet Conseiller du 
Roy au Conseil Superieur de la Province de la Louisianne a la 

Digitized by 


Servinien'8 Case, 1752 809 

requete de Monsr Le Procureur General du Roy demandeur et 
accusateur centre la memoire du soldat nomm6 Andr6 Servinien 
did La Rochelle accuse de setre omicid^ et d^truit dun coup de fusil 
dans la teste, a laquelle information avons procedS ainsy quil 
ensuit tant des vies et moeurs du dit soldat que de son omicide. 

Du dix huit Avril mil sept cent cinquante deux trois heures de 

Joseph Odoy soldat de la Compagnie de Benoist en garrison 
en citte ville age de vingt six ans prof essant la religion Catholique 
apostolique et Romaine, lequel a pris serment par luy preste de 
dire verite a declare n-etre parent alliS ny domestique des parties 
et quil a et4 assigne a ce jour pour dSposer v^rit^ a la requete de 
M. Le Procureur G6n6ral du Roy suivan lexploit dassignation quil 
nous a represents 

Deux^ — Depose sur les f aits mentionnes en la plainte de M. Le 
Procureur General du Roy dont luy avons fait f aire lecture que le 
nomm6 La Rochelle soldat de so Compagnie et de leur chambr6e 
hier au matin sur les huit a neuf heures du matin se tua luy meme 
avec son fusil aux commoditSs, que luy meme dSposa sur ee quoy 
Ion luy did f ut le voir en raison de chercher de leau au f leuve et le 
trouva mort, qu'une heure avant que ce coup arriva ce meme 
soldat avoit pris un couteau en disant quil vouloit se d6truire luy 
meme que tous les jours sitost qiul etoit un peu pris de boisson ou 
quil avoit bu in fillet il etoit dans des coleres terribles disant 
tou jours quil se tueroit a coups de couteau que luy et ses cama- 
rades ont souvent empesche ses furies et ses transports et ses 
violences, que meme dans ses grandes furies il menacoit de tuer 
son pere, que par toutes ses violences et son mauvais caractere il 
ne la jamais voulu frequenter et quil se peut que quelque fois son 
esprit fut ecartS quil ne la jamais assez connu pour en juger au 
juste, qui est tout ce quil a dit scavoir lecture a luy faite de la 
pr6sente deposition a dit icelle contenir verit6 y a persists et de- 
clare ne scavoir ecrire ny signer de ce enquis suivant lordce. 

Henry Gref f . 

Troia^ — Jean Louis Rabigou soldat de la Compagnie de Be- 
noist en garrison en citte ville, age de vingt cinq ans, professant 
la religion Catholique, apostolique et Romaine lequel apres ser- 
ment par luy presto de dire verit6 a d6clar6 n'etre parent, alli6 ny 
domestique des parties et quil a et6 assign^ a ce jour deposer verit6 

Digitized by 


310 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

a la requete de M. Le Procureur General du Roy suivant I'exploit 
dassignation quil nous a represents et depose sur les faits men- 
tionnSs en la plainte de M. Le Procureur General du Roy dont 
luy fait faire lecture quil a connoissance que le nommS Servinien 
did La Rochelle soMat de la meme compagnie lequel sest tu6 hier 
au matin avec son fusil se mettoit fort souvent dans des coleres et 
des furies extraordinaires et prenant meme un couteau pour se 
le porter dans lestomac et jurant et reniant dieu jusqu'a faire 
sortir du sang avec son couteau de son estomac, ce qui a plusieurs 
f ois fait fr6mir luy d6posant quil lempeschoit de se d6truire, que 
les camarades de la chambre lont aussy empesch6 de se d6truire 
que souvent il juroit et tempestoit contre son pere disant quil ne 
luy pardonneroit jamais quil croit que quand cet homme avoid 
bu quelques fillets il avoit Tesprit egarS et que luy et ses camarades 
le disoient qui est tout ce quil a dit scavoir lecture a luy faite de 
so deposition adit quelle contient ve6rit6 y a persists a sign6 et 
na requis salaire. 

W Rabigou 

Henry Greff 

Pierre Filhev soldat de la Compagnie de Benoist ag6 de vingt 
trois ans professant la religion Catholique, apostolique et Ro- 
maine lequel apres serment par luy presto de dire verit6 a dSclarS 
n'etre parent alliS ny domestique des parties et quil a et assign^ 
a ce jour pour d6poser verity a la requete de M. Le Procureur 
General du Roy suivant Texploit dassignation quil nous a repr6- 

Cinq^ — Depose sur les faits mentionn6s en la plainte de M. Le 
Procureur General du Roy dont luy avons fait faire lecture quetant 
de la chambre du nomm6 Servinien dit La Rochelle soldat qui sest 
tu6 hier au matin dun coup de fusil le dit La Rochelle se mettoit 
dans des furies et transports de folie en disant toujours quil se 
perdroit et dStruiroit luy meme et son pere aussy, quil ne luy 
pardonneroit jamais ce quil luy avoit fait, que souvent il prenoit 
un couteau pour se le porter dans le corps que souvent luy et ses 
camarades len ont empesch6 et que comme ce n'toit pas un honmie 
sociable et quil navoit point de bonnes raisons luy et ses cama- 
rades ne le frequentoient point, quils ont toujours cm quil avoit 
quelque chose dans I'sprit qui I'egarait, qui est tout ce quil a dit 
scavoir lecture a luy faite de la pr6sente deposition a did icelle 

Digitized by 


Servinien's Case, 1752 311 

contenir v6rit6 y a persists et a d^clar6 ne scavoir 6crire ny signer 
de ce enquis suivant lordonnance et n'a requis salaire. 

Henry Greff 

Andre Desjardins soldat de la Compagnie de Benoist en gar- 
rison en cette ville ag6 de quarante cinq ans prof essaht la religion 
Catholique, apostolique et Romaine lequal apres serment par luy 
preste de dire v6rit6 a declar6 netre parent alli6 ny domestique des 
parties et quil a 6t6 assign^ a ce jour pour d^poser v6rit6 a La 
requete de M. Le Procureur General du Roy suivant Texploit 
d'assignation quil nous a represents. 

Six^ — Depose sur les faits mentionnSs en la plainte de M. Le 
Procureur General du Roy suivant I'exploit d'assignation quil et 
dont luy avont fait lecture que le nomme Servinien dit La Ro- 
chelle soldat de leur compagnie et de leur chambrSe se tiia hier au 
matin sur les huit a neuf heures avec son fusil en se cassant la 
teste, qu'une heure avant cela il avait voulu se tuer avec un couteau 
et le jetta, que plusieurs fois il avait voulu se tuer et se dfitruire 
a coups de couteau, qu'il luy a apparu a luy et a ses camarades que 
cet homme la avoit Tesprit egarS, que meme etant a la cantine 
avec ses camarades il alloit de table en table prendre les bouteilles 
et buvant comme un fou, qu'il se mettoit en colere en jurant qu'il 
se detruiroit luy et son pere, et toute so mauvaise conduitte le 
faisoit souvent mettre en prison, qu'il Stoit sy peu sociable que luy 
dSposant ny aucuns camarades ne vouloient point faire soci6t6 
ensemble avec luy, qui est tout ce quil a dit scavoir. 

Raguet (paraphe) 

Sept^ — ^Lecture a luy faite de la pr6sente deposition a dit 
icelle contenir verite y a persists et d6clar6 ne scavoir ecrire ny 
signer de ce enquis suivant lordce. 

Raguet (paraphe) 
Henry Greff (paraphe) 

No. 3. 

No. 1304. Original Text: 
Proces Verbal d'Enlevement du Cadavre de Servinien dit 
La Rochelle. 
19 Avril 1752. 

L'an mil (1) sept cent cinquante deux le dixneufieme (1) 
avant midy pardevant nous Jean Baptiste Raguet, Conr du Roy au 

Digitized by 


312 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Conseil Superieur de la Louisianne Commissaire en cette partie 
est comparu M. Le Procureur General du Roy lequel nous a dit 
quil vient daprendre que la nuit derniere ont avoit enleve le corps 
du nomme Andr6 Servinien dit La Rochelle soldat de cette gami- 
son qui etoit depose dans une cabanne de Lhopital du Roy de citte 
ville — et contre la m6moire duquel il poursuivoit le proces criminel 
pour le faire punir comme homicide de luy meme suivant la 
rigueur des ordonnances du Roy — ^pourquoy il requiert de nous 
transporter avec luy et le Gref f ier aud hopital pour nous informer 
du fait et en dresser proces verbal surquoy et a Tinstant nous 
etant transport's aud. Hopital ou y etant nous aurions demand' 
au nomm' Baptiste et a deux Jeunes Gens aprentis chrurgiens 
dun nomme chastang et lautre dupon de nous montrer la cabanne 
ou etoit d'pos' le cadavre en question lesquels nous auroient dit 
que ce cadavre auroit ete enleve sans doute la nuit derniere puis- 
quil etoit hier au soir dans la de Cabanne dans une caisse ou ils 
lavoient soUe depuis deux jours (quils) (1) ne scavent ny nont 
aucunne connoissance qui a pu faire cet enlevement puisqueux ne 
couchent point a (Lhopital) (1) ensuite nous (1) nous sommes 
transport's a la cour (1) dudt hopital ou est construit lade 
cabanne et apres avoir visif partout nous ny avons trouve aucune 
fracture ny rupture ayant pareillement visit' la cloture qui en- 
toure lade cour nous ny avons rien vu de d'rang', et dans linstant 
sont intervenues deux ReligJeuses Ursulines les quelles ont soin 
dudt hopital et des malades dont lune nomm'e Magdelaine et 
lautre Saint Xavier qux quelles avons demand' sy elles avoint 
connoisance de Tenlevement du corps en question, elles nous ont 
dit nen avoir aucune attendu quelles etoint rentr'es et couch'es 
dans leur monastere, que seulement ce matin sur les quatre a cinq 
heureson leur raporta que ce corps ny etoit plus et que Ion lavoit 
sans doute enlev' la nuit pendant le mauvais temps quil a fait par 
. la pluye et tonnerre qui est tout ce que nous avons pu decouvrir 
au sujet du dit enlevement, de tout quoy avons dress' le pr'sent 
process verbal pour servic et valoir ce que de raison, le malades 
nous ayant meme did quils navoient rien apercu, fait a Lhopital 
le susdt jour mois et an. 

Raguet Fleuriau Henry Greff (paraphe) 

(1) missing in text and supplied: neufi (eme) Lh(opital) 
(ensuite nous) (a la cour). 

Digitized by 


Servinien'8 Case, 1752 31^ 

No. 4. Original Text: 

No. 1305. 
Nomination d'un Curateur d la Mimoire du Nomm4 Servinien 

dit La Rochelle. 

Vu par Nous Conseiller Commissaire en Cette Partie La 
Plainte port6e par Mr Le Procureur G6n6ral du Foy Contre le 
Nomm6 andr6 Servinien dt La Rochelle soldat En datte du dix 
huit du present, Lordonnance de Monsieur Michel Conr du Roy 
en ses Conseils Commissaire General de la Marine Ordonnateur a 
la Louisianne au bas de la ditte Plainte, dudt Jour, Les Conclu- 
sions de Mr Le Procureur General du Roy Nous Commississaire 
susdt attendu que ledt Servinien homicidie Na aucuns parents En 
Cette Colonic, avons Nomm6 doff ice pour Curateur a sa m^moire 
Le Momme Pierre Cecille habitant de cette Colonic Lequel sera 
assign^ Pardevant Nous pour accpter la dte Charge et prester ser- 
ment Donne a La Nouvelle Orleans Le dix neuf avril mil sept 
cent Cinquante deux du matin. 

"Raguet" "Henry, Greff" (paraphe). 

Lan Mil Sept Cent Cinquante deux Le dixneufieme Jour 
d'avril deux heures de Revelev6e Est Comparu Pardevant Nous 
Commissaire susdit Et so\issigne Le Nomm6 Pierre Cecille 
habitant Demeurant En cette Ville de la Nile Orleans Curateur 
par Nous Nomme doff ice au Cadavre et a La Memoire du nomme 
Andre Servinien, dit La Rochelle soldat En garnison En Cette 
Ville a Effet du proces Criminel qui sera Extraordinairement in- 
strut par Nous a la Requete de Mr Le Procureur General du Roy 
Lequel Cecille Cy present a Volontairement accepts lade Charge 
de Curateur Et a fait ser ment De Bien Ed fidellement defendre 
La memoir dudt Servinien dont acte Et a signe Les susds Jour, 
mois Et an p. cecile 

Raguet Henry, Greffier (paraphe) 

No. 5. No. 1306 

Original Text: 
20 avril 1752 


Recollement de temoins entendu Contre Servinien 
Lan Mil Sept Cent Cinquante deux Le Vingtieme Jour du 
mois davril de Relevee Pardevant Nous Jean Baptiste Ragviet 

Digitized by 


314 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Conr au Conel Superieur de la Louisianne Est Comparu Mr Le 
procureur general du Roy Lequel Nous a dit quen Execution de 
notre ordonnance dud jour au niatin II a fait assigner Le Nomm6 
Joseph Odoy, Jean Louis Rabidou, Pierre filhev et Andre Des- 
jardins soldats de la Compagnie de Benoist troupes 'd6tachees de 
la marine Entretenue en cette Colonie, et Temoins ouy en Linfor- 
mation premiere f aitte a San Requete Le dixhuit du present mois 
Contre Le Nomme Andre Servinien dt La Rochelle, soldat de 
lade Compagne accuse de Sestre Casse La tete avec son fusil pour 
estre Recolles en Leur depositions par Exploit de Le Norman huis- 
sier audiancierde ce jour Lequel II nous a represents et requis 
quil put proceder au Recollement des Temoins, 

Surquoy avons donnee acte a mond Sr. procr General du Roy 
de sa Comparution due et requisition et ordonne quil sera par nous 
pr6sentement proced6 au Recollement des T6moins et Sest mond 
Sieur procr General du Roy retire, 

Et a Linstant Est Comparu Joseph Odoy soldat de la Com- 
pagnie de Benoist premier temoin ouy en Linformation par nous 
faite a la requetede mondt Sieur Le procr General, auquel Odoy 
apres serment par luy fait de dire v6rit6 avons fait f aire Lecture 
de la deposition par luy faite en la dte Information et apres Lavoir 
ouy a dit quelle est Veritable my veut agumenter ny diminuer et 
quel y persiste Lecture a luy faite du present Recollement y a 
aussy persists et declare ne Scavoir Ecrire ny signer dece Enquis 
suivant Lordce 

Raguet Henry, Greffier (paraphe) 

Est aussy Comparu Jean Louis Rabidou Soldat de la Com- 
pagnie de Benoist en garnison en cette Ville deuxieme temoin 
ouy a la dte Information Auquel apres le serment par luy fait de 
dire vSrite avons fait f aire Lecture de la deposition par luy faite 
en ladte Information et apres Lavoir ouy a dit quelle est veritable 
ny veut augmenter ny diminuer et quil y persists Lecture a luy 
faite du present Recollement y a aussy persiste et declare ne Sca- 
voir Ecrire ny signer dece Enquis suivant Lordonnance, et a signe 
Ensuite J. L. Rabigou 

Raguet Henry Greff . (paraphe) . 

Est aussy Compary Pierre filhev soldat de la Compagnie de 
Benoist en garnison en cette Ville troisieme temoin ouy en ladte 
Information apres serment par luy fait de dire V6rit6 avont fait 

Digitized by 


Servinien's Case, 1752 315 

fre Lecture de la deposition par luy faite en ladte Information et 
apres Lavoir ouy a dit quelle est veritable dans tout son contenu et 
quil na rien a y augmenter ny diminuer et quil y perist6 Lecture a 
luy faite du present RecoUement y a aussy persiste et declare ne 
scavoir Ecrire ny signer dece Enquis suivt Lordce. 

Raguet Henry Greff. (paraphe). 

Est aussy Comparu Andre Desjardins soldat de la Compagnie 
de Benoist en garnison en cette Ville Quatrieme temoin ouy en 
ladte Information auquel apres serment par luy fait d dire Verite 
avons fait fre Lecture de la deposition par luy faite en ladte In- 
formation et apres Lavoir ouy a dit quelle est veritable dans tout 
son contenu et quil na rien a y augmenter ny diminuer et il y 
persiste Lecture a luy faite du present RecoUement y a aussy per- 
siste et declare ne scavoir Ecrir ny signer dece Enquis suivt Lor- 

Raguet Henry Greff . (paraphe). 

No. 6. 

20 avril 1752 

No. 1307. 

Origintal Text: 

Interrogatoire du Curateur de Servinien. 
6« pag 

Lan Mil Sept Cent Cinquante deux Le Vingtieme Jour du 
mois dAvril — Pardevant Nous Jean Baptiste Raguet Conr du 
Roy en son Conseil Superieur de la Province de la Louisianne Com- 
missaire Noitime en cette partie Etant au Greffe du Conseil 
Superieur de la dte province Est Comparu le Nomme Pierre 
Cecille habitant en cette ville Curateur par nous Nomme doff ice a 
la Memoire du Nomm6 Andre Servinien dt La Rochelle soldat dune 
des Compagnies de troupes detachees de la Marine Entretenue en 
cette Colonie Lequel Sest homicide et le dt Curateur nous adit 
quil est pret et offre de subir LInterrogatoire sur les faits resul- 
tant des Informations par nous faite a la requete du procr general 
du Roy contre la memoire dud Andre Servinien Requerant quil 
nous plaise luy donner acte de sa Comparution et proc^der a son 
Interrogation et a signe avant midy 


Digitized by 


316 The Louisiana Historical Qtuirterly 

Surquoy nous avons donn6 acte aud Pierre Cecille aud Noms 
de sa Comparution et Requisition cydessus et ordonne ql sera par 
nous proc6d6 tout presentement a LInterrogatoire dud Curateur, 

Et a rinstant les Pierre Cecille a prete serment de repondre 
v6rite sur les f aits sur lesquels II nous plaira LInterroger 

Ce fait Lavons interroge de son age quality et demeure A dit 
que son nom est Pierre Cecille habitant en cette Ville y demeurant 
ordinairement ag6 de quarante cinq ans Environ professant la 
Religion Catholique apostolique et Romaine 

Interroge si Scait par lequel il a ete Nomme Curateur 

en cette occasion ; 

a Repondu que comme le Nomm6 Andre Servinien soldat dune 
Compagnie de troupes d6tach6es de la marine a ete trouv6 dans 
Lendroit ou il y avoit autrefois des Latrines et dans Lun des corps 
de la caserne Lequel on Croit quil sest tue Luy mesme avec son 
fusil, Na aucun parent Iln cette colonie II a 6t6 nonim6 par sen- 
tence du jour dhier Curateur doffice a la m6moire du d Andre 
Servinien Lequel Nest plus Estant son cadavre ayant 6t6 Enlev6 
le nuit du dixhuit au dix Neuf suivant quil a apris par le bruit 

Interrog^ sil scait Le sujet pour lequel ledt soldat se d6druit, 

a Repondu will nen scait rien mais que Comme led soldat 
Etoit frap6 dSsprit et ayant souvent des Vertiges de Colere de 
f urie Et transport II nest point Etonnant quil se soit servy de ce 
moment pour se d6truire 


Interroge sil la vu quelquefois dans ses vertiges a R6pondu 
que non mais quil a ouy dire a ses Camarades de Chambree quil y 
6toit fou sujet et mesme souvent ils lont reprim6 a cet effet mais 
quil n^toit pas capable dentendre raison quand ses fureurs le 
prenoit, Interroge sil na point ouy dire quil eut quelques mesin- 
telligences (2) avec quelqun de ses Camarades qui auroit pu se 
servir de ce moment pour Lavoir tue a Repondu que non et quil ne 
Croit pas quaucun de ses Camarades Lay fait parcequils Le 
fuyoient a Cause de ses fr6n6zies qui luy prenoient souvent et 
flurtout quand il avoid bu et mesme apres avoir Cuv6 son vin ou 
son Esprit etoit plus alen^ quauparavant 

Interroge sil na rien a dire de luymesme tant a la Charge 
que ala d^charge de la Memoire dud Andre Servinien, a Repondu 
navoir rien autre Chose a dire sinon qu'il avoit LEsprit dun ali6n6 

Digitized by 


Servinien*8 Case, 1752 817 

et que de desespoir, que depuis quil a vu par la deposition de Te- 
moins quil ne parloit que de tuer son pere et de se tuer nsuite que 
mesme il avoit esgaye de se donner Luy mesme des Coups de Cou- 
teau dans LEstomac Ce que ses Camaradesont souvent Empeschg. 
Lecture a luy faite du present Interrogatoire dit que ses R^ponses 
Contiennent v6rit6 et quil y persiste et a sign6 cecile 
Soit Communique a Mr Le procureur gfial du Roy a la Nou- 
velle Orleans 4 de May 1752 


21« avril 1752 No. 1808 

No. 7. 

Pre pag Original Text: 

Confrontation de« T^moint ouit Contro Servinien. 

Confrontation faite par Nous Jean Baptiste Raguet Conr 
du Roy en son Conel Sup^rieur de la province de la Louisianne 
Commissaire Nomm6 en cette partie a la Requete du procureur 
g6n6ral du Roy demandeur et accusateur Contre du Nomm6 Andre 
Servinien dt La Rochelle soldat dune Compagnie de troupe d6tach6 
de La Marine Entretenue en cette Colonie accus6 de sestre d6truit 
des t6moins ouys en Linformation par nous faite le dixhuit du 
present mois et en Execution de notre sentence du dixneuf de ce 
present mois alaquelle confrontation nous avons pro6d6 ainsy quil 

du Vingtun Avril Mil Sept Cent Cinquinte deux 

trois heures de Relev6e 

Ceprouv4 un mot Interlign& (paraph de Raguet). . 

Est Comparu pardevant ous Pierre Cecille Curateur omm6 
a la m6moire de Andre Servinien dt L Rochelle Soldat de la Com- 
pagnie de Benoist troupe d^tache de la Marine Entretenue en 
cette Colonie de present en garnison en cette ville accus6 de 
sestre homicide Auquel avons Confronts Joseph Odoy soldat de 
lad Compagnie premier t^moin de Linformation et apres serment 
fait Tant par led Curateur que par les T6moins de dire V6rit6 et 
Interpell6 de dire sils se Connoissoient, Ont dit Scavoir led Cura- 
teur quil ne Connoit pas led Temoin et led Temoin quil Connoit 
de vue Pierre Cecille pour habitant en cette Ville 

Digitized by 


818 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Apres quoy avons fait faire Lecture par le Greffier dudt 
Conel des premiers articles de la deposition du T6moin contenant 
son age qualite et demeure et sa declaration Comme il nest point 
parent dud accuse non plus que dud Curateur, et Interpelle led 
Curateur en saqualite de fournir Tout presentement reproche 
contre led Temoin sinon et a faute de le faire quil ny sera plus 
recu apres que Lecture luy aura ete faite de sa deposition et 
recollement suivant Lordonnance que Luy avons donne a entendre, 
A quoy led Curateur a Repondu navoir aucun reproche a fournir 
Contre led Temoin non plus que led T6moin aud Curateur. 

Ce fait Nous avons fait fre Lecture de la deposition et Re- 
collement desd T6moins en presence dud Curateur accuse Lequel 
T6moin a dit que la deposition est veritable et La ainisq Soutenu 
aud Curateur et que cest bien Laccus^ quil a Entendu parler par 
sa deposition et Recollement et y a persists ci par led Curateur a 
6t6 dit quil narien a disputer aud T6moin et quil Croit sa deposi- 
tion veritable, 

Lecture faite aud Cecille Curateur et aud Temoin de la 
presente Confrontation Lesquels y ont persists chacun a leur 
Egard et a led Curateur signe non led T6moin Lequel a declare 
ne Scavoir Ecrire ny signer dece Enquis suivant Lordce. Cecile 


Est Ensuite Comparu en notre presence Le Curateur present 
Jean Louis Rabideau soldat de la Compagnie de Benoist deuxieme 
temoin ouy en la dte Information et apres serment fait tant par 
led Curateur que par led temoin de dire verite Interpelle de nous 
dire sils se Connoissoient ont dit ne se point Connoitre mais quils 
Connoissoient bien tous deux led accuse dhomicide apres quoy 
avons fait faire Lecture par notre Greffier du Conel des premiers 
articles de la deposition dudt Temoin Conteneant son Nom age 
quality et demeure et sa declaration commil. nest point parent 
allie serviteur ny domestique dud accuse Et Interpell6 Led Cura- 
teur de fournir tout presentement reproche Contre led Temoin 
sinon et a faute de la fairie il ny sera plus recu apres que Lecture 
luy aura ete faite de sa deposition et Recollement suivant Lordon- 
nance que nous luy avons donne a entendre, 

A tout quoy led Curateur non plus que led Temoin ont dit 
Navoir aucun Reproche a ses faire Lun et Lautre en aucune 

Digitized by 


Servinien's Case, 1752 319 

Ce fait avons fait f aire Lecture de la deposition et RecoUe- 
ment Temoin en presence dud Curateur Lequel Temoin a dit que 
sa deposition est veritable La ainsy soutenue aud Curateur et que 
Cest delacuse quil a Entendu parler par sa deposition ainsy que 
par so Recollement et y a persiste, 

Aquoy led Curateur a repondu quil pense que tout Ce que 
led Temoin a dit est veritable ainsy que Luy par son Interrogation 
quand II a Connu Led accuse pour homme qui sortoit souvent de 
son bonsens Lequel avoit Lesprit tres aliene et par led Temoin a 
ete dit quil le pense aussy de mesme 

Lecture faite aud Curateur et aud Temoin de la presente 
Confrontation et y ont persiste chacun En Ce qui les Concerne et 
a led Curateur signe non led Temoin Lequel a declare Ny Scavoir 
Ecrire ny signer de ce Enquis suivant Lordce. Cecile 

et a signe J L Rabigou 


Est Ensuite Comparu en presence du Curateur et Pardevant 
Nous Andre Desjardins soldat de la Compagnie de Benoist troi- 
sieme Temoin ouy en Ladte Information et apres serment fait 
Tant par led Curateur que par led Temoin de dire Verit6 Inter- 
pelle de nous dire sils se Connoissoient ont dit se Connoitre tres 
bien Scavoir led Curateur Connoitre led Desjardins pour estre 
soldat de ladte Compe de Benoist et led soldat connoitre led Cecile 
Curateur Nomme pour estre habitant en cette Ville et quils ont 
tous deux Connu Led Andre Servinien dt La Rochelle accuse de 
sestre detruit pour estre soldat de lad Compagnie de Benoist, 
apres quoy avons fait faire Lecture par le greffier du conseil 3es 
premiers articles de la deposition du Temoin Contenant Son 
nomage et qualite et demeure et sa declaration Commil nest parent 
allie ny serviteur dud accuse, et avons Interpelle led Curateur de 
fournir Tout presentement reproche Contre Led Temoin sinon et 
a f aute de ce faire quil ny sera plus recu des que Lecture luy aura 
ete faite de sa deposition et Recollement Suivant Lordonnance 
que nous Luy avons donne a Entendre, 

A quoy Led Curateur et led Temoin ont dit navoir aucun 
repoche a se faire Lun a Tautre 

Ce fait avons fait faire Lecture de la deposition et Recolle- 
ment dud Temoin en presence dud Curateur Lequel Temoin a dit 
que Sa deposition et Recollement sont veritables et La ainsy 

Digitized by 


820 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

soutenu aud Curateur et que Cest bien de laccus^ quil a entendu 
parler par Sa deposition et RecoUement et y a persists 

A quoy led Curateur a Repondu navoir rien ay R6pondre et 
quil pensse que Lad deposition dud T^moin Juste, Lecture faite 
aud Curateur et aud Temoin de la pr6sente Confrontation y ont 
persists chacun en Ce qui Le Concerne et a led Curateur sign6 Non 
led Desjardins T6moin Lequel a declare Ne Scavoir Ecrire ny 
signer dece Enquis suivt Lordce, cecile 


Est ensuite Comparu Pardevant Nous Conunissaire susd en 
presence dud Cecille Curateur Le Nomm6 Pierre fuhev troisieme 
T6moin ouy en ladte Information et apres serment fait par led 
Curateur et T6moin de dire verity, Interpell6 de nous dire sils se 
Connoissent ont dit se tres bien Connoitre Comme aussy quils ont 
Connu led Andre Servinien d La Rochelle pour estre soldat de la 
Compagnie de Benoist; 

Apres quoy avons fait f aire Lecture par le Greff ier du Con- 
seil des premiers articles de la deposition dud TSmoins Contenant 
son nom age quality et demeure et sa declaration Commil nest 
parent alli^ ny domestique dud accus6 non plus que dud Curateur 
Avons Interpelle led Curateur de fournir Tout presentement 
Reproche silen a f aire en sa qualite sinon et a f aute de ce f aire quil 
ny Sera plus lorsque Lecture luy aura ete faite de sa deposition et 
RecoUement suivant Lordonnance que nous Luy avons donn6 a 

A quoy led Curateur et Temoin ont dit de navoir aucuns 
Re^roches a se f aire en aucune f aeon, 

Ce fait avons fait faire Lecture de la deposition et RecoUe- 
ment dud Temoir En presence dud Curateur Lequel Temoin a 
dit que Sa deposition et RecoUement Sont Veritables et La ainsy 
Soutenu aud Curateur et que cest bien de laccuse quil a entendu 
parler par sa deposition et et RecoUement et y a persiste, 

Et a ete Repondu par led Curateur quil Croit Veritable Tout 
Ce qua did led Temoin dans sa deposition et RecoUement. 

Lecture faite aud Curateur et aud Temoin de la presente 
Confrontation y ont persiste chacun en ce qui Le Concerne et a 
led Curateur signe mais non led Temoin Lequel a declare Ne 
Scavoir Ecrire ny signer, dece Enquis Suivant Lordce. cecile 


Digitized by 


Servinien'8 Case, 1752 821 

No. 8. Original Text:* 

Opinion of the Attorney General. 

Le Procureur General du Roy demandr Et accuaateur 

La Memoire du Nomme Andre Servinien accuse de sestre 
homicide dun Coup de fusiU 
Vu par Nous Commissaire En cette partye touttes les peces du 
proces En question par Nous Instruit le tout Examine 

Mon avis Est sauf celuy de Messieurs, que la mSmoire dud 
Servinien, dit La Rochelle soldat de cette garnison Soit d6charg6 
de Laccusation attendu quil paroit par la deposition des t^moins 
Entendus En cette affaire que laccuse Etoit Souvent En d6mence 
d'Esprit; Se mettant dans des furies Extraordinaires jusqu'a 
Vouloir Se tuer Et meme menacant de tuer son pere ; et que lors 
qu'il Sest donn6 Un Coup de fusil toute la matin6e du meme jour, 11 
avoit donne des marques de sa f urie et de ses f olies. 
A la Nouvelle Orleans ce cinqe may 1752. 

Sur le reverse : 
"A Monsieur 

"Monsieur Raguet Conseiller 
Juge de Police 

a la Nile Orleans" 

No. 9. 


MICHEL 1311 

6 Mai 1752 

Original Text: 

Interrogatoirre du Curateur ala Memoire du nomme Servinien dit 

La Rochelle. 

Audce Criminelle 6 Mai 1752 

Ou 6toient assemble Messieurs de Vaudreuil Gouverneur Mi- 
chel Commissaire General de la marine Ordonnateur et premier 
Juge Dauberville Commissre de la marine Sieur et Conr demem- 
brede Major de la Nile Orleans Raguet Conr Le Breton delalande 
Kxnion et lafreniere Cons assesseurs 

A la Requete du proc general du Roy Contre la memoire 
d* Andre Servinien dt La Rochelle soldat de la Compagnie de 

Digitized by 


322 The Louisiana Historical Qvurterly 

Benoist accuse de sestre homicidoe, en Encore Pierre Cecille Cura- 
teur Nomme a la memoire dudt accuse 

Vu la procedure Criminelle Extraordinairement Intents 
Contre led Servignien, 

Le Conseil a ordonne que ledt Pierre Cecille Curateur seroit 
mande pour estre Interroge Ce fait luy avon apres le serment par 
luy prete de dire verity 

Interroge de son age et qualite et demeure, 

A dit se nommer pierre Cecile habitant en cette ville age de 
quarante Cing annees professant La Religion Catholique aposto- 
lique et Romaine et quil a este Nomme Curateur a la memoire d 
Andre Servinien 


MICHEL — Interroge sil se quelque chose de plus que son In- 

A dit navoir rien de plus a dire qu^ ce quil a deja Repondu 

Interroge sil est vray quil ait dit quil avoit Envie de tuer 
son pere 

A repondu que ouy, quil luy a bien ouy dire dans Ces folies 
que sil retournait en france quil tueroit son pere et quil avoit 
mesme voulu se tuer plusieurs fois 

Lecture a luy f aite de presente Interrogation a dit quelle Con- 
tient verite y a persste et signe cecile 

Vaudreuil MICHEL 

delalande Raguet 

huchet de Kernion Le Bretton 

No. 10. 

Paraphe No. 1312. 

Jugement d'absolution de fa memoire de Servinien dit La Rochelle. 

MICHEL Audience Criminelle du 6 May 1752 

6 mai 1752 

Ou Etoient Messieurs de Vaudreuil Gouverneur Michel Com- 
mssaire General de la Marine Ordonnateur et pr Juge Dauberville 
Comre de la marine second coner, de Membrede maor de la Nile 
Orleans, Raguet Coner, Le Breton, delalande Kernion et Lafre- 
niere Conss assessors. 

Digitized by 


Servinien's Case, 1752 323 

A la requete du procr geneeral du Roy demandeur et accusa- 
teur Centre 

Le Nomme Andre Servinien dt Rochelle, soldat de la Com- 
pagnie de Benoist troupes detach^es de la Marine Entretenue en 
cette Colone deff unt et accus6 de sestre homicide Sestant casse la 
tete avec son fusil 

Et Pierre Cecille habitant Nomm6 Curateur a la memoire 
dud accuse : 

Vu le proces verbal de la descente sur les lieux ou il sestre tu6 
pour le procureur general du Roy accompagn6 du Gref f ier en date 
du dixsept avril dernier 

La Requete presentee par mon dit Sr Procureur general du 
Roy et lordonnance au bas portant permission de poursuivre crimi- 
nellement Lassassinat ou homicide pardevant Mr Raguet Conr 
Nominaton dun Curateur au Cadavre et Information Recollement 
Interrogatoire et Confrontation Le tout en date du dixhuit dud 

linformation dud our de quatre temoins ouy 

La Nomination de Pierre Cecille habitant Curateur au Ca- 
davre en datte du dixneuf dudt mois prestation de serment aud 
Curateur de ce jour, 

Linterrogatoire de Pierre cecille Curateur en datte du Ving- 
tieme dud mois, 

Le Recollement des Temoins dud jour 

Confrontation des d Temoins ouy En lad Information aud 
Pierre Cecille Curateur du Vingtieme dud mois, Le proces verbal 
dEnlevement dud Cadavre du dixneuf dud mois 

Les Conclusions du procr general du Roy de ce jour 

Le tout Vu et Considere Le Conseil a Rendu La preuve Resul- 
tante de LInformaton que led Andre Servinien dt La Rochelle 
soldat de la Compagnie de Benoist netoit pas dans son bon sens 
ayant Lesprit ali^ne et attaque de furie, a d6charge sa Memoire 
de Laccusation en question 

Donne en la Chambre du Consel Le sixieme May mil sept cent 
cinquante deux 
Vaudreuil MICHEL 

delalande huchet de Kernion 

Raguet Le Bretton 

Digitized by 



No, XI (Continued from April Number) 

Petition For Extension of Time. Dec. 10, 1728, Antoine Bon- 
vilain by no means evades his debt to Mr, Kolly; only 
he is himself hampered on every side by outstanding 
accounts, and he begs a respite of six weeks. No note 
by Court. 

Petition of Recovery. Dec. 11, 1728. Pierre Dreux claims 131 
francs for beer that he furnished to the late Mr. De- 
cour. Original account is given as 200 francs, on 
which 81 francs were paid. If so, net account should 
be 119 francs? 

Notice served to Mr. Rossard, attorney. 


Petition Over a Misappropriated House. Dec. 11, 1728. Pierre 
Dreux smothers himself through a featherbed of 
wordy effort, in order to bring action against Mr. Ros- 
sard, attorney of vacant estates, on account of a cer- 
tain house accredited to Clairf ontaine (deceased) , but 
really belonging to petitioner's former partner Co- 
hendo, who returned to France leaving Clairfontaine 
in virtual possession, but subject to some provisos 
which the latter failed to fulfil. Let the house be ad- 
judged as Cohendo's property. 
Notice served to Mr. Rossard. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Dec. 11, 1728. 

1. Mondreloy vs. De Manad6 and wife. Seizure val- 
id, and claim to be discharged. 

2. Pieron, alias Vendome, vs. Baldic. Claim allowed. 

3. Daniel' Kolly vs. Pontvillain (Teutonism for Bon- 
villain). Claim allowed. 

4. Aville vs. Jean Cariton. Jean in default, judg- 
ment for A. 

1728-1737 — Account of Labbe, farmer with the Company of the 
Indies for negroes and advances of money amounting 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 825 

to $7,520, verified by vouchers; calculations made in 
New Orleans, Nov. 19, 1737. 

Petition of Recovery. Dec. 14, 1728. Arnaud Bonnaud moves 
for the citation of Mr. Kolli, to pay the sum of 1800 
francs, due on his note of Nov. 15, 1727. Action al- 

Petition to Recover Damages. Dec. 14, 1728. Charles de Mo- 
rand claims what damages the Court will allow, from 
Coupard, carpenter for breach of contract, in the mat- 
ter of finishing a certain house by the time agreed. 
Notice served to Coupard. 

Petition of Recovery. Dec. 18, 1728. Jacques Ozanne (signed: 
J. Ozanne) cooper of the Company, lent 8 Spanish dol- 
lars and 143 francs to the late Morel de Clairfontaine^ 
as shown by notes adduced. The deceased left word 
in pressence of Mr. Tesson, that these debts were to 
be paid with a coat which is now in the hands of Lang- 
lois, tailor. Let the coat be delivered to J. 0. 
No note by Court. 

Petition in Remonstrance. Dec. 18, 1728. George Tesson shows 
that he lent the late Mr. Morel de Clairfontaine 600 
francs to build a house on lot No. 54; property duly 
mortgaged to G. T. but now claimed by Mr. Rossard, 
attorney for vacant estates. G. T. claims a further 
sum of 207 francs from Clairfontaine estate, on 
ground herein adduced. Let Mr. R. be nonsuited, and 
let G. T. have preferred credit. 

Petition of Recovery. January 4, 1729. Sansfagon claims a 
flour account of 271 francs from Durivage, and a fur- 
ther item of 55 francs due on a transferred note. 
Action allowed, and word left with Madame D. 

Petition in Remonstrance. January 7, 1729. Ren6 Boyer waa 
partner with the late Mr. Clairfontaine in a tract of 
12 acres (frontage) on the Mississippi. Mr. Rossard 
now seeks to appropriate two slaves therefrom to va- 
cant estate. This would ruin R. B., and prevent him 
from settling his debts to the Company. Let R. B.. 

Digitized by 


826 The Louisiana Historical Qicarterly 

be secured in possession of land and the two slaves. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits, January 8, 1729. 

1. D'Auseville vs. Joffre. Arbitration report con- 

firmed and its terms to be carried out. Other- 
wise, the case is further pending. 
Costs reserved. 

2. Meynard vs. Rossard. Goods to be sold in satis- 
faction of claim. 

Costs divided. 

3. Prevost vs. Rossard. Dismissed until adjustment 
of deceased LaSalle's accounts. 

4. Sansfagon vs. Durivage. 


(Unsigned) Extract From Report on Morillet Estate in Account 
with Mr. and Madame Dreux. January 8, 1729. The 
"report" was charged by Mr. de Rochemore to make an 
amicable division of said estate's property. Failing to 
satisfy the contesting parties (Mr. and Madame Dreux 
in particular), he submits the points at issue to the 
Superior Council for adjudication. He also notes his 
own opinion for the said issues. 

Composition of Creditors. Jaituary 9, 1729. Arrangements be- 
tween Nicolas Bion ; former employe of the Company, 
and his creditors. List of credits followed by remarks 
on the situation. Mr. Bion cannot meet his obligations 
in this country, where he is actually dependent on char- 
ity ; but he is authorized to return to France where he 
hopes to recuperate. Further list, showing whom he 
promises to pay, and how much. 
Array of signatures and marks. 

Receipt. January 10, 1729. Lagarde has received of Port Cap- 
tain Genet the sum of 1500 francs on account of the 
hire of negroes of DeChaumont grant. Reference to 
an agreement "between us and Monsieur de Cha- 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 327 

Petition of Recovery. January 12, 1729. Pierre Francois De- 
joux, surgeon claims 165 francs from Bourbeau. 
Action allowed. 

Memorandum of Supplies. Jan. 12, 1729. "Statement of the 
goods embarked, and omitted in my account, but en- 
tered on the books of the grant, in Paris, item for item, 
Mr. Kolly has refused to accredit me for the same un- 
til Mr. Dumanoir has rendered his accounts ; although 
certain that I had furnished the goods." Total bill, 
3890 francs, 13 sous. There follows a petition for the 
citation of Messrs. Drouet, attorney, and Kolly, part- 
ner in the grant, to pay the sum of 6000 francs to the 
writer, Faucon Dumanoir, both for capital and for his 
living expenses. 
Action allowed. 

Petition to Recover Sale Proceeds. Jan. 13, 1729. Mr. Rossard 
moves for the citation of Sieur Roger, employ^, to pay 
93 francs due on sale of some goods. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions in Two Suits Jan. 15, 1729. 

1. Dumainoir vs. Kolly. 

Costs reserved. 

2. Rene Boyer vs. Rossard. R. B. to retain the ne- 
groes. Costs divided. 

Petition of Recovery. Jan. 18, 1729. Mr. Kolly seeks to collect 
an aggregate amount of 1460 francs and 13 sous from 
Sieur Massy, based on claims duly described. Action 

Summons to Attend Hearing. Jan. 19, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray 
notifies Mr. Droy (Drouet) to appear on Saturday 
next in the suit between Mr. Dumanoir and Mr. Droy. 

Petition of Recovery. Jan. 21, 1729. Jacques Esnoul De Livau- 
dais moves to collect 1500 francs, or net avails thereof, 
due by Mr. Kolly for salary arrears of the late Mr. 
Ceard; five years, 1720 (May 12) to 1725 (June), at 

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828 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

8000 francs a year, Mr. De Livaudais acts as attor- 
ney for Demoiselles de La Lande, nieces of Mr. C. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions Between Dumanoir and KoUy. Jan. 22, 1729, Defen- 
dant to pay provisional amount of 4000 francs. 
Costs reserved. 

Petition For Passage to France. Jan. 25, 1729. Bion shows that 
all his creditors are willing to see him return to France 
except Mr. Duval and Mr. Herpin, on behalf of Mr. Pe- 
rault. Let Messrs. D. and H. be cited and petitioner's 
transit allowed, by ship Diane. 
Notice served to D. and H. 

Decision in Civil Suits. Jan. 29, 1729. 

1. Bion vs. Duval and Herpin. Council confirms 
agreement to Jan. 9. Execution ordered. 

Costs divided. 

2. De la Livaudais vs. Kolly. Respite of four 
months allowed for adjustment of C6ard estate's 

3. Kolly vs. Massy. M. in default, and subject to 

Judgment for K. 

Petition to Recover Sale Proceeds. Feb. 1, 1729. Mr. Rossard 
claims an aggregate amount of 247 francs from Cari- 
ton, teilor, due on bills of sale. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. Feb. 1, 1729. Claude Trennaunnay Chan- 
fret claims 200 francs from Pierre de Manadfi, due on 
sale of a horse, valuation made by Mr. de Noyan, Sr. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions in Two Suits. Feb. 5, 1729. 

1. Rossard vs. Roger. 

Judgment for plaintiff. 

Roger in default and subject to coste. 

2. Dumanoir vs. Bourbault, and Kolly, parties dis- 

Further procedure outlined. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 829 

Petition of Recovery. Feb. 17, 1729. Langlois, tailor claims 89 
francs from one Bonne Estof e, German, and asks that 
Boiine Estofe be cited. Meanwhile, let seizure be al- 
• Approved, and L. may distrain at his own risk. 

Decisions in Civil Suits. Feb. 26, 1729. 

1. Rossard vs. Bourbault. 

B. in default; must pay, plus costs. 

2. Charles Droy vs. Noel Buisson. 

Costs divided. 

3. Langlois vs. Bonne Etoffe. 

Claim allowed. 

(Antoine Lowe, alias Langlois). 

Petition For Sanction of Sale. March 9, 1729. Corporal Beaus6- 
jour, who has recently married the widow Cardon, has 
sold his former house to one Langlois, locksmith, and 
acquired a house from Company's employ^ Michel. 
Council will please to ratify sale. 
Agreed; Perier, Delachaise, Brusl6. 

Letter From Terrisse De Teman to Rossard. Aux Cascanias. 
March 15, 1729. Hoping that Madame R. has arrived 
. safely in "your Capital." Walnut wood could not be 
obtained ; nobody sawing, but all being busy with seed- 
ing. R.'s debtor Leonard puts off paying, but writer 
will get what he can. 
He sends 25 hams. 

Receipt. March 19, 1729. Senet certifies that he has been paid 
in full by Monsieur Bapache for the rent of a house. 

Lemesle Alias Bellegarde vs. Pascal. March 26, 1729. Out of 
Court. Costs divided. 

Petition to Attend Hearing. March 28, 1729. Guillaume Bous- 
erand alias Sansf aeon claims 90 francs from Blanpain. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. March 29, 1729. Jean Baptiste Faucon 
Dumanoir seeks to collect 4000 francs, or net residue 

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330 The Louisiana Historical Qiuirterly 

thereof, from "flush" Mr. KoUy, who eludes payment. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. March 29, 1729. Councillor Prat seeks to 
collect 500 francs from Malon, tailor. Debt was to be 
paid in rice and corn. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery By Sale. April 2, 1729. Lucien Poir6, gun- 
smith, claims 200 francs from estate of late Blanvil- 
lain, and asks to sell the latter's lot in Royal Street. 

Seeing that Poire has paid B.'s debts, Attorney Gen- 
eral Fleuriau permits the said sale. 

Council agrees. Proceeds to cancel P.'s claim. 

Petition of Recovery. April 2, 1729. De. Morand claims 12 bar- 
rels of rice from Sieur Bimond. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. April 2, 1729. 

1. Dumanoir vs. KoUy and Droy. K. and D. to pay 
4000 francs and costs. 

2. Trennay Chanfret vs. Pierre de Manad^. P. de 
M. to pay, plus costs. 

3. Guillaume Bouserand (Sansfacon) vs. Blanpain. 

Blanpain to pay plus costs. 

4. SCRAWL shall be released on condition that his 
security pay 400 francs for damage. 

Partly torn. 

Petition to Recover Wages. April 5, 1729. Jacques Guillotot, 
alias DuSablon claims 133 francs residue wage ac- 
count, from Sieur Chassin, former officer of the Com- 
pany in Illinois, but now domiciled at N. 0. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions in Two Suits. April 9, 1729. 

1. Guillotot alias DuSablon vs. Chassin. 

C. to pay given claim; he may recover else- 

2. Prat vs. Malon. 

Malon in default; must pay, plus costs. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 831 

Petition For Abatement of Account. April 25, 1729. Bourbeaii 
pleads that he never refused to pay Mr. Dejoux, save 
that D. should allow for the 10 days while he stayed 
with B., and was nourished and laundried. Let the 
account be reduced by 90 francs, ox whatever sum 
the Council may approve. 

Petition of Recovery. April 25, 1729. Corporal Robert claims 
79 francs, 6 sous from Malon, tailor. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. April 27, 1729. 

1. St. Martin vs. Massy. Within a fortnight, par- 
ties are to name arpitrators (arpitres, Teutonism), 
or else the Court will do so. 

2. Estienne Benson vs. Graslin. 


3. Nicolas Rousseau vs. Bergison. 

B. to pay. 

4. Millon vs. DeVerteuil. 

DeV. in default; must pay. 

Petition of Recovery. April 28, 1729. Antoine Rivierre com- 
plains that his wife was overcharged by her employer 
Voysin, who drew 200 francs from the Company on 
her accounts when she came from France, and fur- 
nished her some supplies not equivalent of that 
amount. Let valuation be made and the deficit re- 

Action allowed. 

Remonstrance. April 20, 1729. Arnaud Bonnaud objects to be- 
ing summoned to pay 1678 francs claimed by Mr. 
Kolly, and supposed to be owing to Ste. Reine grant. 
First, Mr. K. failed to show his warrant proceeding 
against A. B.; next, A. B. is merely the agent of 
Messrs. Perier and De la Chaise; Action, if war- 
ranted at all, should be brought against them. 
Either nonsuit Mr. K., or let him wait till some pend- 
ing accounting is finished, when the balance bids fair 
to favor the side of A. B.'s principals. 

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332 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. April 30, 1729, 

1. Kolly vs. Bonnaud. 

Four months allowed for proper accounting. 
Costs reserved. 

2. Canceled. 

3. Pierre Francois Dejoux vs. Ren6 Boyer. R. B. 
in default and plaintiff nonsuited. 

Rest of passage torn. 

Complaint in Assault Case. May 2, 1729. When Surgeon Pierre 
Francois Dejoux, usually resident on the Dasfeld 
grant aux Chaouachas, asked his fees of one Chape- 
ron, the latter answered with insults and abuse, and 
also violently attacked the surgeon, leaving him 
bruised and wounded. Prosecution desired. 
No note by the Court. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. May 7, 1729. 

1. Antoine Maguire and his wife vs. Voisin. 

Plaintiffs nonsuited. 

2. Robert vs. Malon. 

M. in default; judgment for R. 

3. Dejoux vs. Bourbeau. 

Further pending. 

Petition in Slave Suit. May 4, 1729. Pierre Lantaud, tailor, 
moves for the citation of Francois Carriere, to prove 
that L. paid for a certain negress consigned to him 
by Mr. Durand, and belonging to the late Mr. Re- 
mond, whose widow is now Madame L., petitioner's 
wife. Otherwise, let negress and her increase be re- 

Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. May 9, 1729. Nicolas Noiset claims a 
residue wage account of 160 francs from Mr. Moran. 
Action allowed. 

Surgeons' Report. May 13, 1729. Alexandre and P. de ManadS 
find some obscurity in the terms of agreement be- 
tween Messrs. Dejoux and Chaperon; but all things 
considered, they would fix the damages at 50 francs. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Lotdsiana J<3S 

Petition to Prosecute. May 18, 1729. Phillippe Francois Vel- 
lart, carpenter, complains that he falsely accused of 
robbery by one Le Page. Let Le Page be summoned 
to prove his charges, and fined if he cannot sustain 

Notice served to Le Page. 

But Attorney General Fleuriau turns the case 
against Vellart, for known disorderly actions, and 
orders him committed to prison with a view to trial. 

Partly torn. 

Petition of Recovery. May 21, 1729. Nicolas Henry agreed to 
sell a lot of his to Mr. D'Auseville for 500 francs. 
Council for technical reasons, disallowed the sale, but 
nevertheless the transfer was tacitly effected and Mr. 
D'A. is in actual possession. Mr. D'A. now takes ad- 
vantage of technicalities to "economize" 500 francs 
at the expense of N. H. Let Mr. D'A. be cited to pay 
500 francs in question. 

Action approved by Baron. 

Noticed served. 

Petition of Recovery. May 23, 1729. Surgeon Pierre de Manad6 
and his wife complain that Baschemin and his wife 
refuse payment of 15,000 francs agreed on sale of 
land, as by contract of Nov. 12, 1727. Complex ex- 
cuses are urged by Baschemin, but the debt remains 
valid and should be paid. Either let settlement be 
effected, or else release petitioners from furnishing 
the wood which had been promised to B. from plain- 
tiffs' property. 
Action allowed. 

Petition For Second Copy of Marriage Contract. May 24, 1729. 
Joseph Carriere (Signed: Joseph Carrier) has lost 
the first copy of his marriage contract, and would 
have Mr. Rossard supply another copy. 
Mr. R. is enjoined to do so. Delaichaise. 

Petition of Recovery. May 25, 1729. Charles Droy, on behalf 
of the late Mr. de Mandeville and parties interested in 

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384 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Ste. Catherine grant, claims 1068 francs and 14 sous 
from Mr. Tixerand. 

Notice served, and word left with "Martin his 

Sale of Slave. Natchitoches. May 28, 1729, Londain has 
bought of St. Julien a negress named Combasla, for 
1300 francs payable in goods at store price at N. 0. L. 
has also paid on account an Indian slave rated at 
540 francs, and 20 lajdng hens. Provisos in case of 
Witnessed by Duplessis and P. Tostain. 

Remonstrance. May 28, 1729. Raymond Amysault Esquire D'- 
Auseville, regardless of his position as one of the Su- 
perior Councillors, has been cited like a nondescript 
commoner, under signature of Mr. Baron, a fellow 
councillor. Mr. B. should have meditated against 
such an ignoble slur on one of the constituted dispens- 
ers of justice in the Colony. Councillor D'A. makes 
no claim to the porperty in question, and is not a 
partner to any transactions of others involved. Let 
Nicolas Henry be nonsuited. 
Approved, and notice served. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. May 28, 1729. 

1. Nicolas Henry vs. D'Auseville. 


2. Canceled. 

3. De Manad6 and wife vs. Baschemin. 

Defendant in default. 
Judgment for plaintiffs. 

Petition to Recover Property. May 31, 1729. Nicolas Henry, 
settler below Pointe St. Antoine, complains that while 
undergoing medical treatment at N. 0., he has been 
deprived of his property by the misrepresentations of 
one Dupre de Tarbonne, pleading spurious title of 
possession. Let D. de T. prove his "rights," or else 
be evicted and held for damages. 
Action allowed. 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 885 

Petition For Indemnity For Improvements. May 31, 1729. Ni- 
colas Henry had cleared some land which was found 
on surveying, to belong to Mr. Dosville (D'Auseville). 
Let Mr. D. be cited and ordered to clear equivalent 
land for N. H. 
Action allowed: BruslS. 
Petition to Recover Hire of Slaves. May 31, 1729. Morisset, 
employ^, seeks to collect from one Adrien Gilbert, 
three months and 26 days of hire, at 600 francs a 
year, of two negroes. Reference to corroborating 
Action allowed. 

Criminal Procedure. New Trial Ordered. June 11, 1729. Ow- 
ing to some irregularities in the proceedings, Coun- 
cil annuls the former trial of one Joseph Eraff, 
charged with fatally wounding his partner La Biche^ 
settler at Fort Cond6, Mobile. It is now ordered that 
the Attorney General shall go to Mobile, where a new 
trial will be instituted before Councillor Bru. The 
culprit shall be transferred to prison at N. 0. (Graff, 
in 29^«) 

Signed: Perier, Delachaise, Brusl^, Prat, Baron,. 

Remonstrance. June 11, 1729. Raymond Amyault D'Auseville, 
after noting that Nicolas Henry died yesterday in the 
Hospital reviews in tangled detail the deceased's er- 
roneous litigation, and urges that none of it applied 
pertinently to Councillor D'Auseville. The recent 
clearing contention (a matter of burnt cane at best) 
should have been directed agiainst the true proprietor, 
Terebonne. Madame Henry is merely driven by other 
parties: let her be nonsuited and answerable for 
No note. by Court. 

Petition of Recovery. June 9 and 18. Pierre Schmitt, German, 
seeks to recover from Rodolph Guilland, 74 francs in 
equivalent for some rice and a cash collection. 
Action allowed. 

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336 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Petition to SeU A Lot. June 20, 1729. Jean Baptiste Bourbeau 
complains that Henry Bucoy had made him give up 
a lot of ground in this town, in restitution for an ox 
of J. B. B.'s that was hamstringed. Let Bourbeau 
sell the lot and pay the ox from proceeds. 
Permitted^ July 1, 1729. 

Extract From Marriage Contract, June 22, 1729. Parties: 
late Joseph Moreau, widower of late Jeanne Dam- 
ourette, and Marie Th6rese Le Grand, widow of late 
Pierre Drilland, employ^. Clauses showing what the 
groom received from bride. 

^Petition To Appoint Guardian. July 1, 1729. Elizabeth Thom- 
as, widow of late Nicholas Henry moves for appoint- 
ment of a Guardian for her minor daughters, Cathe- 
rine and Louise. 

Approved: Prat: 


Chmrdian Appointed. In sequel to the formalities of the case, 
Elizabeth Thomas is herself named, and confirmed 
by the Court, as guardian of her two minor daugh- 
ters. See 29«^ 29»\ 
Partly torn. 

Dedsiorys in Sundry Suits. * July 2, 1729. 

1. Pierre Schmitt vs. Rodolph (Guilland). 

Defendant in default. He shall pay rice and 

2. Durivage vs. Morisset, Contingent on further 

3. Morisset vs. Adrien Gilbert. Net settlement or- 

4. Canceled. 

5. Pierre Lartault vs. Carriere. 


Petition of Recovery. July 4, 1729. Francois Alix alias La Roze 
holds a note of Pierre St. Julien, settler at Cannes 

Digitized by 


Records of the Sttperior Council of Louisiana 887 

Brusl^es, for 300 francs, dated D. 11, 1728; value re^ 
ceived in beer. Let St. Julien be cited. 
Action allowed. 

Letter of Terrisse De Teman to Rossard. July 5, 1729. Ac- 
knowledging letter transmitted by Mr. DutisnS. 
Would fain be near R. since ''th^e glass in hand is a 
great bond to maintain frienship." Som6 brandy re- 
ceived, but this is too plentiful for medium of ex- 
change in fur trade. Better commodities in this 
trade are powder, vermilion, Limbourg (dry goods 
article), cutlery and large brassware. Sorry to 
hear of heavy mortality in your capital." Reference 
to writer's wrecked boat at Ouabache (Wabash). 
Sundry matters of interest in this letter. 

Port Captain Senet's Account Book. July 5, 1729. Including Mo- 
bile, Balise, and New Orleans. Writer apparently of 
German source: birougue for pirogue; pileist for bil- 
let. One section shows Company's marine payroll 
from Jan. 1, 1729. For the handwriting (unsigned), 
compare 28^^ 29"; also, spelling pileist in 27"% 137, 
138; ditto, sequante. Transactions range from 1725 
to 1729. Many canceled entries, and the entire docu- 
ment is wanting in orderly arrangement. Possibly 
its erratic sp^^Ding is the most interesting detail now. 

Petition to Recover Salt. July 9, 1729. Parties interested in the 
shop move for the citation of Mr. Grace to pay them 
1000 lbs. of salt, for which he has failed to account to 
them according to invoices with storekeeper Pellerin. 
Bill called for 7600 lbs. ; Mr. Grace received only 6600. 
Action allowed. 

Judgment in Land Suit. July 9, 1729. One Terrebonne, hav- 
ing falsely obtained title to the plantation of the late 
Henry. T. shall vacate and Henry's widow and chil- 
dren recover possession. 

Signed: Baron who acts for absent Attorney Gen- 

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888 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly ^ 

Petition of Recovery. July 12, 1729. Cerv6 seeks to collect 100 
francs of Pierre de St. Julien, due on a note. 

(Possibly the plaintiff is Senet, so written, and 
also Sern6, on 29^«») 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. July 12, 1729. Surgeon Sanson, of Can- 
nes Brusl^s, holds notes against Pierre de St. Julien 
for amount of 605 francs. Let St. J. be cited. 
Action allowed. 

Decisions in Two Suits. July 16, 1729 

1. "Parties interested in the shop" vs. Grace. 

Defendant discharged from claim of salt. 
Costs divided. 

2. Pierre Lartaut vs. Francois Carriere. 

Inquiry ordered at Mobile. 
Question of ownership of a negress. 

Acknowledgment of Draft. July 18, 1729. Massy has received 
original duplicate and triplicate draft dated past Oc- 
tober 10, drawn by one Thomassin Junior, at 6 weeks' 
sight, on his father, dealer in vinegar at Paris. M. 
promises to pay given sum, 1100 francs, on advice 
from his correspondent that the draft has been hon- 
ored. Draft was tendered to M. by Babaz. 

Memorandum. July 18, 1729. '^'A coat, jacket and breeches 
with old silver buttons ; a wooden trunk without lock. 
Francoeur has declared that the late Babaz sold his 
large boiler to Mr. Carriere." 

(The two papers were found pinned together). 

Petition of Recovery. July 19, 1729. Pierre Dreux advanced 
1700 lbs. of flour to KoUy grant in 1721 and 1722, 
when flour was worth one franc a pound; but was 
willing to settle for 15 sous a pound. Mr. K. would 
pay only 6 sous a pound; let him be cited to pay 1& 
sous, or else agree to arbitration. 
Action allowed. 

Petition to Dissolve Partnership. July 23, 1729. Pierre Paul 
Caussy and Laurent Boissier had agreed with the 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 88ft 

Company to conduct a pottery concern in partnership. 
But owing to personal incompatibility, the partners 
beg to be separated, on terms described. Council 
accedes, and Mr. Brusl6 shall take sole charge of the 
manufacturing establishment. Provisos on manner 
of settlement. 

Signed: Perier Delachaise, Brusl& 

Decision in Suit of Recovery. July 23, 1729. St. Julien shall 
pay Francois Alix 300 francs, as due on given note. 
Notice served to St. J., August 13, 1729. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. July 23, 1729. 

1. Pierre Dreux vs. KoUi. 

Adjourned for proving claim. 

2. Charles Droy i;«. Tisserand. 

Judgment for C. D. 
8. Canceled. 

4. Francois Alix vs. St. Julien. For F. A. 

5. Senet vs. St. Julien. For Senet. 

6. Sanson vs. St. Julien. For. St. Sanson. 

7. Certain surgeons of the Company tender oath 
in pledge of faithful service. 

Petition of Recovery! July 26, 1729. Councillor Antoine Brus- 
16 holds a note for 721 francs, endorsed by Mr. de la 
Frenifere in favor of Mr. B. Mr. Francois CarriSre, 
who issued the note, keeps putting off payment; let 
him be cited. 
Action allowed. 

Petition For Voiding of Will July 30, 1729. Mr. Rossard, at- 
torney for vacant estates, discredits a "pretended 
will" of one La Biche, in favor of his former partner 
Joseph Graff, condemned to be hanged for fatally 
stabbing LaBiche. The latter's creditors are not to 
be ignored, and the untenable will should be annulled, 
and the goods of LaBiche sold. 

Approved and so ordered by Attorney General Fleu- 

Petition to Sell Real Estate. July 30, 1729. Mr. Rossard moves 
for the sale of half lot and house belonging to one 

Digitized by 


840 The Louisiana Hiatortcai Quarterly 

Durandv formerly Company storekeeper, and fugi- 
tive since Jan. 1725. Proceeds to satisfy rightful 

Approved: Perier, Delachaise, Fleuriau, Brusl^, 
Prat, D'Auseville. 

Sale of Real Estate Ordered. July 30, 1729. Auction of a hall 
lot in Royal Street, and house with shingle roof, to- 
gether with appurtenances, to be held on August 8. 
Property belonged to former storekeeper Durand, 
now fugitive. Proceedings moved by Mr. Rossard, 
attorney for vacant estates. 
Blurred and stained. 

Sale of Real Estate. Formal Order. July 30, 1729. Official 
ruling to same intent as in agridged counterpart No. 

Signed: Perier, Delachaise, Brusl6. D'Auseville, 

Annulment of Will. July 30, 1729. Council accedes to petition 
of Mr. Rossard, annuls the said will, and orders ap- 
propriation of deceased's estate. From the proceeds, 
a requiem service shall be allowed on behalf of La 

Decisions in Two Suits. July 30, 1729. 

1. Dreux vs. KoUy. Refered to Messrs. Coustillas 
and Roquet. 

2. Attorney General vs. Roger, formerly storekeeper 
of Company. 


Agreement to Abide by Arbitration. August 1, 1729. 

Undersigned Caussy (Pierre Paul) and Bossier 
(Laurens) have agreed to defer to arbitration by 
Messrs. Mathurin Dreux and Jacques Larche, in re- 
gard to grain, sweet potatoes and work on planta- 
tion; and in case of dispute, a third arbitrator shall 

Arbitration Report. Pottery Tract. "La Fayencerie." Aug. 
1, 1729. Messrs. Jacques Larche and Mathurin 
Dreux submit their estimate as follows: com crop, 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of LouiMana 341 

45 barrels in ear. Sweet potato crop, 60 barrels. 
Fuel, 7 cords, at 5 francs, 35 francs. Ditching, 40 
francs. Poultry, 67 1-2 francs. Items of fencing, 100 
and 40 and 60 francs. 

Petition to Recover Heifer. August 3, 1729. Jacques de Cous- 
tilhas, officer of this garrison, shows that a dark 
brown heifer of his, with some gray hair on her fore- 
head and white markings between fore legs, first 
strayed among the cattle of Madame Chamily, and is 
now in the herd of Madame Brusl6, who claims own- 
ership and refuses to relinquish. Let Madame B. be 
cited to surrender heifer on proof supplied by J. de 

Heifer's present age, about 21 months. 

Action allowed. 

Petition to Stay Judgment. August 3, 1729. Tixeran, who was 
cited on motion of Mr. Droy, was prevented by bad 
weather from attending Court, with reference to a 
protested draft. Compensation besought, and let the 
ruling which was rendered against the petitioner stay 
short of execution. 

Action allowed, and notice served to Mr. Droy. 

Arbitration Report. August 4, 1729. Dreux vs. Kolly. 
August 4, 1729. Messrs. Coustilhas and Raquet, in 
view of the notorious high price of flour at the time 
concerned (years 1721, 1722 and 1723), when bread 
sold as high as 30 sous a pound, recommend that the 
present claim be settled on basis of 15 sous a pound 
for bread, as represented by given amount of flour. 

Inventory Boissier-Caussy. August 4, 1729. Remnant of 
goods entered on book for 180 francs, 6 sous. 
Goods not entered, 122 francs, 5 sous. 
Detailed miscellany follows ; to total footing at 1261 
francs, 19 sous. Signed: Boissier, Caussy. 

Petition of Recovery. August 6, 1729. Francois Carridre claims 
1000 francs of Mr. Tixerand, due on his note of July 
14, 1725. 
Action allowed. 

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342 The Ltmisiana Hiatarical Quarterly 

Heifer Suit Adjourned. August 6, 1729. Louis, by the grace of 
God King of France and Navarre, greets all who may 
read these presents; whereas his delegated Court of 
the Superior Council, finds plaintiff and defendant 
alike insistent on owning the disputed heifer; and 
so orders the parties, Officer Coustilhas and Madame 
BruslS, to produce their respective proofs before 
Councillor Prat a week hence. 

Remonatrance. August 6, 1729. Charles Roger, formerly 
storekeeper and bookkeeper for Mr. Crozat, has been 
accused of dishonest accounting. He repudiates the 
charges, and complains of their vague laxity. Even 
official Mr. Rossard brings general accusations void of 
specific support. C. R. admits the chances of unguard- 
ed error ; wilful dishonesty he will not admit, and he 
challenges alleged proof of it. He kept his books in 
condensed form for practical convenience; but has 
written data wherever needed. 

Petition in Remonstrance. August 6, 1729. Charles Roger files 
opposition to a certain reversal of attachment pro- 
ceedings, obtained by Messrs. Massy and Quenot. C. 
R. did not seek to rob the King, nor to collect facti- 
tious debts. There may be novelty in C. R.'s ac- 
counting ; fraud there is none. Let this opposition be 
allowed, and full proof demanded of those who charge 
C. R. with false dealing. 
Action allowed, and notice served to Massy. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. August 6, 1729. 

1. Brusl6 vs. Francois Carriere. 

Claim to be paid. 
See 29". 

2. De Caustilhas vs. Madame BruslS. 


3. Droy vs. Tixerant. Settlement on net basis. 

Costs divided. 

4. Attorney General vs. Charles Roger. 

Further in process. 
Costs reserved. 
Blurred and slurred. ' 

Digitized by 


Rec&rds of the Superior Council of Louisiana 848 

Petition of Recovery. August 8, 1729. Claude Trenaunnay 
Chanfret moves for the citation of Mr. Rossard, At- 
torney, to pay 25 francs and 7 sous, French money, 
which petitioner once paid to an innkeeper Daure at 
Port Louis, on behalf of the late Pouyadon de La 
Action allowed. 

Petition For Execution of Arbitration Award. August 9, 1729. 
Mr. Dreux begs the Council to cite Mr. Kolly with a 
view to execution of the arbitration sentence render- 
ed on August 4, 1729. 
Notice served. 

Sale of Real Estate Advertised. August 10, 1729. Auction of 
half lot and house in Royal Street. Property of fug- 
itive storekeeper Durand, to be resumed on August 
22. Highest bid thus far is only 150 francs, by wig- 
maker, La Pierre. 

Summons to Testify. August 11, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray noti- 
fies Madame Chamily and several other parties to ap- 
pear today at 9 A. M. before Councillor Prat, in re- 
gard to the disputed heifer. Word also given to Ma- 
dame Brusl^. 

Testimony on Disputed Heifer. August 11, 1729. Six wit- 
nesses examined. Only indirect and hearsay evi- 
dence returned. Heifer supposed to belong to Ma- 
dame Brusl6. 

Summons to Testify. August 12, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray notifies 
Mr. and Madame Manad6, Madame Morisset, Ma- 
dame Le Moine, Madame Boissier and Mr. Balcour to 
appear today at 8 A. M. before Councillor Prat, and 
give testimony in regard to disputed heifer. Word also 
left for Mr. de Chevalier de Lauboey, where Mr. de 
C. is domiciled. 

Testimony on Disputed Heifer. August 12, 1729. Witnesses 
merely saw the heifer with Madame Brusl6's cattle; 

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844 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

nothing conclusive is brought out on the point of own- 

Decisions Between Trenaunnay Chanfret and Rossard. August 
13, 1729. R. to pay claim. 

Item, between Dreux and KoUy. 

K. in default. Arbitration sentence to be carried 

Petition of Recovery. August 16, 1729. Ren6 Galbee, school- 
master with Mr. Renaud D'Hauterive, lived in that 
capacity with Madame Rivard, settler at Bayou St 
Jean, to teach her children. Madame gave her note 
for 376 francs and 15 sous, but instead of paying, she 
answers petitioner with "insults atrocious." Let Ma- 
dame be cited to pay this note, and also to return 
certain goods or money which R. G. had lent her; to 
wit, toilet paper, and cobbler's item of 25 sous in spe- 

. Action allowed. 
Edges worn. 

Petition of Recovery. August 16, 1729. Valeran claims a res- 
idue account of 45 francs from Cariton, and a further 
item of 7 francs, or 52 francs total. 
Action allowed. 

Petition to Recover Medical Fee. August 17, 1729. Baldit, sur- 
geon, was summoned to treat the late Mr. Artus at 
Biloxi, and went thither with Mr. Tixerant. Fee was 
agreed at 100 francs; but now the deceased's widow 
is married again to one Bonne, who answers only with 
abuse, and calls the surgeon a rogue. Let Bonne be 
cited to pay the bill, and also to make amends for said 

Action allowed, and notice served to Sieur Bonne^ 
then domiciled with Sheriff. 

August 23, 1729. 

Notice to Challenge Witnesses. August 19, 1729. Sheriff Dar- 
garay submits list of Madame Brusle's witnesses to 
Mr. de Coustilhas, who shall present his objections^ 
if any. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 345 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. August 20, 1729. 

1. Coustilhas vs. Madame Brusl6. Adjourned for 
further investigation. 

2. Francois Carri^re vs. Tixerant. Judgment for 

3. Ren4 Galb^e t;^. Widow Rivard. Adjourned. 

4. Vallerand vs. Cariton. For V. 

Summons to Testify. August 20, 1729, Sheriff Dargaray, at 
the instance of Jacques Coustilhas, notifies sundry 
parties to appear today at 1 P. M. before Councillor 
Prat, in regard to the disputed heifer. 

Testimony on Disputed Heifer. August 22, 1729. Vague and 
contradictory evidence on color of heifer; nothing to 
the purpose on ownership. * 

(The case appears to stand: no evidence whatever 
to prove that the heifer belonged to Mr. de Coustil- 
has; whereas popular opinion, report and impres- 
sion favor Madame Brusl^.) 

Sale of Real Estate Advertised. Aug. 23, 1729. Auction of 
property in Royal Street to be resumed on Septem- 
ber 5. Present highest bid, of La Pierre, is 250 
francs. See 29»«. 

Receipt to Louis Roy, signed AUemand. Aug. 25, 1729. Certi- 
fied by Clerk of Council. Signed: Dargaray, Ros- 
sard, clerk. 

Petition For Discharge From Suit. Aug. 26, 1729. Jean Bap- 
tiste Massy was surprised to be cited on motion of 
former storekeeper Roger. Mr. M. has nothing to 
do with accounts in question, having wound up his 
affairs with heirs of late Guenot fr^res Mr. M. was 
in France when contested supplies were furnished. 
Let M. be discharged. Mr. Roger should refer his 
^ case to said heirs. Communicated to Mr. Roger. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Aug. 28, 1729. 

1. De Coustilhas vs. Madame Brusl^. 

Ownership decided for Madame B. Plaintiff 
nonsuited. See 29^<>«. 

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846 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

2. Roger vs. Massy, 

Further in process. 

Costs reserved. 
8. Baldit vs. DeBaune. 

For Baldit. 

Costs on defendant. 
Slurred and partly torn. 

Petition to Stay Judgment. Aug. 29, 1729. Tixerant objects 
that he was unable to be present when suit was de- 
cided against him and in favor of Carrifere. Let C. 
be cited for further pleading. 
Approved, and notice served. 

Argument in Suit of Claims. Sept 1, 1729. Durivage aims to 
establish the point that Tixerant owes him 388 francs 
outstanding since February 1725. D. is willing to 
consider accommodations, but insists on this original 
claim of his own. 

No note by Court. 

X 26* (Oct. 3, 1726.) 

Memorandum of Account. Sept. 1, 1729. "Monsieur Tixerant, 
his account current with Durivage." Feb. 1725. Dr. 
Items include, pigeon house, 48 days work at 6 francs 
a day, 215 francs; 18 rafters, 54f; fireplace, 
150 f.; coating of three cabinets, 20 f.; 800 oysters, 
9 f . ; residue for cow, 50 f . Total debit, 498 f . 

Credit itemSj 2 pigs rated by experts at 40 f . each, 
80 f . ; 2 axes, 20 f . ; cash, 10 f . 

Total credit 110 f. 

Net debit, 388 f. 

Report on Search For Illicit Traffic. Sept 2, 1729. It being ru- 
mored that the officers of ship St. Michel had sold 
some brandy to Mr. de Coustilhas, contravening the 
Commander General's orders: Mr.\ Delachaise and 
Mr. Droy make inspection, but find no evidence of 
the alleged breach of law. 
Partly torn, as by gnawing. 

Report on Search For Illicit Traffic. Sept 2, 1729. Mr. Dela- 
chaise and Recorder Rossard inspect the premises of 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 847 

Mr. Dumanoir, where they seize some brandy and 
dry goods and premises of Mr. Vosin, where they 
seize some goods known as "cloth (or linen) of Brit- 
tany." Articles from ship St. Michel. 
Partly torn, blurred and slurred. 

Attachment of Funds in Contraband Trade, Sep. 3, 1729. First 
Councillor Delachaise and Recorder Rossard seize the 
sums of 1500 francs and 1087 francs against Macma- 
hon, an officer of the ship St. Michel ; these sums pro- 
ceeding from illicit sale of goods. The law in question 
dates back to August, 1717. (Name also appears as 
Marc Mahon). 

Decisions in Two Suits. Sep. 3, 1729. 

1. Tixerand vs. Francois Carrifere. Court allows 
plaintiff's opposition, and orders defendant to re- 
fund 1000 francs. 

2. De Manad§ vs. Baschemin. Adjourned. 

Prosecution For Contraband Trade. Sep. 5, 1729. Attorney 
General Fleuriau reviews the recent proceeding of con- 
fiscation, and orders hearing of retailer Marc Mahon 
and La Follette Descazeaux, mate of the St. Michel, 
together with parties Berthelonj Dumanoir and Voisin. 
Other measures advised : Delachaise. 

Seizure of Ship St. Michel. Sept 5, 1729. Councillor Prat and 
his clerk Gabriel Gontier formally seize the St. Michel, 
then anchored at L^ Balize. Captain Lobry protests 
that he was not plying trade, but only exchanging 
a few goods for transient "refreshments." He dis- 
claims the Councirs jurisdiction, and will appeal in 
France. Captain Lobry is left custodian of the ship, 
Sept. 19, 1729. Seals are withdrawn, and keys re- 
turned to Captain Lobry, discharged from custody of 
seized ship. 

Prosecution For Killing Cattle. Sept. 5, 1729. Attorney General 
Fleuriau moves for the trial of some negroes accused 
of robbing and killing heifers for fresh meat. 

Approved : Delachaise. 


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348 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Criminal Procedure, Cattle Killing. Sept. 5, 1729. Examination 
of negro Changereau, Bambara by nation, aged about 
20 years, belonging to Adrien Gilbert. Ran away be- 
cause underfed. Had three accomplices (fellow- 
slaves). It was Manade's negro who killed heifer in 
question, but Changereau ate of the meat. 

Criminal Procedure, Cattle Killing. Sept. 5, 1729. Examination 
- of negro Francois, unbaptized, a slave of St. Julien's. 
Aged about 25 years. Had no part in robbing and kill- 
ing cattle, but stole some bacon and sold it to another 
negro for tobacco. 

Criminal Procedure, Cattle Killing. Sept. 5, 1729. Examination 
of negro Pierot, Bambara by nation, aged apparently 
27 or 28. Slave of Mr. Dalby's ran away because too 
sick to work and afraid of punishment. Admits com. 
plicity in killing a "young beast.'* Stole some corn, 
but no hens. (Corn from "desert of the Jesuit 

Criminal Procedure, Cattle Killing. Sept. 5, 1729. Examination 
of negro Sabany, Bambara, Bambara by nation, aged 
apparently 30 years, a slave of officer Villamille. Some 
comrades gave him fresh meat in a cabin of Mr. de 
Bienville's. They were marooning, but Sabany was 

Defense in Collection Suit. Sep. 9, 1729. Mr. Roquet submits 
a reasonable plea for extension of time to Mr. Basche- 
min, now pushed by "fickle" Mr. Manade for cash 
payments which B. cannot meet at short notice. He 
has already paid back some flour, and a third of the 
price of a certain plantation. Mr. B. is a new settler 
and merits lehiency. Perhaps he is just as good a deb- 
tor as Manade in the matter of the Company's ac- 

No note by court. 

Recusation on Ground of Kinship. Sep. 10, 1729. Councillor An- 
toine Brusle files legal exemption from taking part in 
the confiscation proceeding against ship St. Michel; 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 349 

his wife (Demoiselle Cecile LeBlanc) and the wife of 
Captain Lobry of St. Malo, being second cousins. 

Council assents: Delachaise, Prat, D'Auseville, 

Reference to a statute of year 1667. 

Exception Moved, But Disallowed. / Sep. 10, 1729. Attorney 
General Francois Fleuriau was not aware of the "sen- 
seless" proceedings of confiscation against ship St. 
Michel. He too, pleads exemption on ground of kinship ; 
his wife Pelage de Morieres and the wife of Captain 
Lobry are second cousins. 

Council rejects his plea for the reason that his of- 
fice is not judicial, but only participant with both sides 
in the formalities. 

Perier, Delachaise, D'Auseville. 

Decisions in Two Suits. Sep. 10, 1729. 

1. De Manade and wife vs. Baschemin. B. to pay 
300 francs on term matured, plus interest. Fur- 
ther proviso concerning revoked attachment. 

2. Attorney General vs. Dumanoir and Voisin. 

Captain Lobry shall be heard in the case. 

Investigation Moved. Sep. 13, 1729. Attorney General Fleuriau 
calls for sifting of the charge that the officers of St. 
Michel landed and sold goods along the River, contrary 
to law of 1717. 
Action approved: Delachaise. 

Petition of Recovery. Sep. 13, 1729. Jean Bte. Meynard moves 
for the citation of Mr. Dubreuil to pay a note trans- 
ferred by R. P. Theodore. 
• Action allowed. 

Request For Suspense of Seizure. Sep. 14, 1729. Du Breuil an^ 
swers that he does not refuse to pay the note in ques- 
tion ; only, first let the distraint be waived which was 
imposed by R. P. Raphael at Chapitoulas, 

Summons to Testify. Sep. 15, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray notifies 
Messrs. de La Loire Flaucourd, storekeeper at La Be- 

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350 The Louisiana Historical Qvxxrterly 

lize, and "Captain of Arms" Douaze, to appear today 
at 3 P. M. to give evidence in St. Michel affair. 

Testimony in St. Michel Affair. Sep. 15, 1729. (Scrawled) 
Witness Claude Doizet (Douaze), volunteer on board 
St. Michel, has no knowledge of illicit sales in question. 
There were some casks in the longboat; what was in 
them, he knows not. 

Pierre Louis August de Loire de Flaucourt, chief 
clerk at La Blaise, also saw some liquor in the long- 
boat, and something was landed at the plantation of 
Mr. de Coustilhas ; uncertain whether it was brandy or 
wine. ^ 

Sep. 20, 1729. Joseph Le Houx, first pilot of- the 
St. Michel knows of three or four casks in the long- 
boat, intended for barter in the way of grain and poul- 
try. Whether goods were landed, he is not aware. 

Attachment of Funds. Sep. 17, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray seizes 
500 francs plus interest and costs, against one Bunel; 
this representing B.'s debt to Malon. Seizure moved 
by Mr. Prat. 

Notice served to B. and M. to attend subsequent 

Petition of Recovery. Sep. 17, 1729. Ren6 Boyer claims of Tix- 
erant a cash debt of 181 francs, and he would also 
have T. make equivalent return for some clearing op- 
erations which R. B. completed on a part of his land 
which by Mr. Broutin's surveying has been ceded to T. 
Said operations included ditching. Action allowed. 

Decision Between Meynard and Dubreuil. Sep. 17, 1729. D. to 
pay note in question, irrespectively of said seizure. 

Petition of Recovery. Sep. 19, 1729. Claude Trenaunnay Chan- 
fret, director of DuBuisson grant, seeks to collect a 
protested draft for 373 francs and 15 sous, plus in- 
terest and costs, from Mr. Kolly. Draft was drawn by 
Mr. Dumanoir in favor of C. T. C, in December 1720 ; 
protested in May 1721. 
Action allowed. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 851 

Certificate on Rafters. Sep. 20, 1729. Mr. Broutin certifies 
that the rafters of Mr. Tixerant's plantation house are 
too far apart, being spaced at about three feet. 

Summons to Testify. Sep. 20, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray notifies 
Le Houx, pilot of the St. Michel to appear before First 
Councillor Delachaise today at 3 P. M. for hearing in 
St. Michel affair. 

Summons to Attend Hearing. Sep. 20, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray 
notifies Captain Lobry and retailer Mahon of the St. 
Michel; also, Messrs. Berthelon, Voisin, and Duma- 
noir, to appear on Saturday next, when seizure of the 
said ship is to be declared correct. 

Summons to Attend Hearing. Sep. 20, 1729. Sheriff Dargaray 
notifies Messrs. MarcMahon, Foliette, Berthelon, Du- 
manoir, and Voisin to appear "on Saturday next," with 
reference to proceedings of seizure and confiscation 
in St. Michel affair. Torn and faded. 

Decision Between Manade and Baschemin. Sep. 20, 1729. De- 
fendants, B. and wife, to pay M. and wife 3000 francs 
with interest. Concurrent seizure to be revoked. Com- 
municated to B. and wife. 

Petition to Recover Rent. Sept. 24, 1729. Raymond Amyault 
D'Auseville leased a house to Madame de Ste. Her- 
\ mine for 20 francs a month to continue one year. Ma- 

dame has removed her furniture and sent back the 
keys, except dovecote key; the key being handed by 
Surgeon Major Reytet to a raw "savagess," ignorant 
of French. Let Madame be cited to take back the keys 
and to pay rent as agreed. 

Release From Official Action. Sep. 24, 1729* Councillor de Per- 
rier, owing to his long intimacy with Mr. Marc Mahon, 
cannot conscientiously take part in the pending pro- 
ceedings against ship St. Michel, and is accordingly 
released therefrom. 

Signed: Delachaise, Prat, D'Auseville, Baron. 

Inquiry Ordered. Sep. 24, 1729. Attorney General Fleuriau 
moves for a formal report on the condition of the ship 

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352 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

St. Michel; thereby to ascertain whether an alleged 
leak is real, or was produced purposely, or is meerly 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Sep. 24, 1729. 

1. Claude Trenaunnay Chanfret vs. Kolly. 

K. to pay note. C 29138. 

2. Ren6 Boyer vs. Tixerand. 

T. will make desired improvements within a 
year. Meanwhile R. B. shall have the benefit of 
ground which he cleared. T. to pay cash claim. 

3. Prat vs. Bunel and Malon. Seizure correct. Ma- 
lon to deliver cow and heifer in question, and then 
refund what is due. 

4. Attorney General vs. Lobry, Mac Mahon, Berthe- 
lot, Voisin, Coustilhas, Dumanoir. Confiscation 

Accessory provisos on behalf of Dumanoir and 
Voisin. Costs on Lobry and Mac Mahon. 

Business Agreement. Sept. 25, 1729. Burbeau will receipt to 
Mr. Senet for 1800 francs after the departure of the 
Durance. Some further provisos bearing on transac- 
tions of pertinence to themselves then; profitless to 
this generation. 

Remonstrance in Rent Suit. Sep. 26, 1729. Madame de Ste. 
Hermine did not understand a binding force in con- 
tract of rent for one year, but understooa herself free 
to vacate at will on paying to time of retirement. Mr. 
D'Auseville refused 80 francs, the rent for four 
months, when she offered it and had it ready; she 
spent it afterwards on her own account, and cannot 
immediately pay .the same sum just now. Let Mr. 
D'A. be nonsuited, and Madame will pay for the given 
four months when the Council so orders, but at a fu- 
ture date. No note by Court. 

Criminal Procedure. Sept. 27, 1729. Attorney General Fleuriau 
moves for the trial of a Bambara negro belonging to 
Mr. Tredeau, and accused of persistent violent threats. 
Approved: Delachaise. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 353 

Petition to Maintain Exchange of Slaves. Sep. 28, 1729. An- 
toine Lowe exchanged a negro boy with Mr. Alexandre 
for a ncgress. Negro boy was in good condition 
then, but is now in a decline and liable to die. Mr. A. 
would give back the impaired slave and cancel the 
bargain. Let him be held to his word. 
Action allowed. 

Memorandum of Account. Oct. 1, 1729. Items chiefly of bleed- 
ing. Total 5 francs. 

Petition of Recovery. Oct 1, 1729. Louis Viger claims 45 francs 
of Mr. Bimond, plus interest and costs. 
Action allowed. 

Promissory note. Oct. 6, 1729. Quidort will pay Mr. La Fre- 
nidre the sum of 297 francs and 7 sous, or order value 
received, at the close of November next. 

Memorandum of Account. Oct. 8, 1729. Bimont presents a 
conterclaim in answer to Viger's claim of 45 francs. 
Total of detailed items, 61 francs. 
No note by Court. 

Motion For Appointment of Guardians. Oct. 8, 1729. Attorney 
General Fleuriau reports the drowning of Louis Senet, 
while on the way to his plantation by dugout, on Sep. 
27, 1729. There being a widow (in France) and sur- 
viving minor children, a guardian and surrogate guar- 
dian should be appointed. 

Approved (after customary forms) : Brusle. 

Decision in Rent Suit. Oct. 8, 1729. Madame de Ste. Hermine 
is ordered to abide by terms of a full year's lease. She 
shall take back the keys and furnish the house in se- 

Costs on Madame. 

Notice served, and Madame protests. She will pay 
four month's rent, but refuses the keys and further 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Oct. 8, 1729. 

1. See 29-155. 

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354 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

2. Antoine Lowre vs. Alexandre. A. L. shall take 

his negro, A. his negress. 

Fine on both parties in favor of Hospital. 

Costs divided. 

3. Viger vs. Bimont. Out of Court. Costs divided. 

Proviso against V.'s practice of surgery. 

Petition For Account Rendered. Oct. 11, 1729. Jean Rebout 
calls for citation of Mr. Bonnaud, inspector of Le 
Blanc grant, to render his account to J. R. and pay 
what is due. 
Action allowed. 

Letter of Terisse De Ternan to Mr. Rossard. Oct. 13, 1729. Ac- 
knowledging "your long and agreeable letter of past 
June 15." Reference to disorders in the "capital." 
Writer sends a fresh lot of onions. Discussions of 
trade situation ; items of personal gossip. Remarks on 
a ruling against S. J. (supposed unfriendly to T. de T.) 
Mr. Pradel made fair promises which he does not keep. 
Turn dugout over to the Company and remove six 
bearskins for blankets. R.'s debtor has paid 200 Ibsu 
of flour. Flour quoted at 15 francs a cwt. 

Decisions in Two Suits. Oct. 15, 1729. 

1. Rebout vs. Bonnaud. B. to comply within •. 

fortnight. Costs on B. 

2. Francois vs. Jacques Datalon. 


Acknowledgment of Debt. Oct. 21, 1729. Bayou St. Jean^ 
Jean LeBrasse owes 100 francs to La Croix for vic- 
tuals, and cedes to him a third of site beginning with 
two trees (kind npt known) and extending to a cer- 
tain oak. 

Witnessed by Clermont and Forestier. 

Petition to Prosecute. Oct. 21, 1729. Bonnaud reports that his 
negro Crusquet died from poisoning, as indicated by 
postmorten examination. Petit, another negro of B'.s 
is suspected of the crime, and should be brought to 

No note by Court. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 855, 

Agreement For Hire of Free Negroes. Oct. 21, 1729. DeCha- 
vannes agrees to hire free negro Mingo, who came 
from Carolina, and his wife Therere, whom M. bought 
of Mr. Dalby, for three years. M. to work and also to 
oversee slaves in cultivation of tobacco, cotton, and 
other crops; Th6r^e to engage in women's work. 
Hire for M. shall be 300 francs a year in current funds, 
together with a jug of brandy each month when in 
store; equivalent money else; besides 8 per cent of 
plantation produce except increase of negroes and cat- 
tle. This 8 per cent to be realized promptly after 
each harvest; provided service continue to close of 
term. Hire for Ther^se, 200 francs a year payable to 
Dalby until Mingo's contract with him be discharged. 
(Soiled as though by contact with a dusty floor.) 

Petition For Emancipation of Indian Slave. Oct. 22, 1729. Du- 
plessis, settler at Natchitoches, holds "a kind of will" 
devised by late Francois Viard, who freed an Osage 
woman slave and reserved 100 pistoles in behalf of 
her Catholic instruction. Let these terms (and their 
accessory clauses) be carried out. 

Attorney General approves emancipation in 
question, but the Black Code forbids cash legacy to a 
slave. Money shall go to the Hospital, and said Osage 
will be trained by the Ursuline ladies, who are to take 
quarters in Hospital. 

Motion to Try For Poisoning. Oct. 25, 1729. Attorney General 
.Fleuriau reviews the case of Mr. Bonnaud's negro, 
Crusquet. Among the plantation negroeia, witchcraft 
is supposed to be the weapon of Crusquet's poisoner's 
tribe; the law followed by Council does not admit 
witchery, but it does punish poisoners. Institute for- 
mal trial of Petit. 

Approved: Delachaise. 

Surgeon Manade and witnesses shall be cited before 
Councillor Prat. 

Partly perforated as by gnawing. 

Agreement on Hire of Slaves. Oct. 27, 1729. Pierre de Manad6 
hires two slaves, Cezard and Jupiter, to Adrien Gil- 

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356 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

bert, carpenter, for one year. Terms, 240 francs for 
each, or total 480 francs; 240 paid cash; the residue 
payable at expiration of contract. Provisos on death 
and marooning. 

Contract attested by J. B. Facuon Dumanoir, 4 F. 
1731, and by Vincent. 7 Sept. 1731. 

Receipt.. Nov. 2, 1729. Pellerin has received of Mr. St. Julien, 
six Spanish dollars in discharge of a note of Mr. Bo- 
quet's. Said note to be destroyed if it be found. 

Endorsed memorandum; six piastres paid for Bo- 
quet to Sieur Pelerin. Naquitoche. 

Petition of Recovery, Nov. 8, 1729. Renaut D'Auterive moves 
for the citation of Surgeon Alexandre to pay 252 
francs, and a further item of 100 francs. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. Nov. 8, 1729. Rebout claims 240 francs 
from Mr. Delery, for 8 months' hired service; less 40 
francs for four barrels of rice, and 2 francs for a pair 
of galoshes. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. Nov. 8, 1729. Rebout claims 170 francs 
from Sieur de la Freniere, for five months and twenty 
days of hired service; less 30 francs received for six 
items of cheese. 
Action allowed. 

Petition to Recover. Value of Slave. Nov. 8, 1729. St. Amand 
moves for the citation of Surgeon Darclon Desche, to 
pay for a negro who died, as here contended, by reason 
of the Surgeon's neglect. Case of injured feet, and 
culpable abandonment of duty. 

Notice to said Surgeon aux AUemands, ten leagues 
away. Nov. 12, 1729. 

Decisions in Two Suits. Nov. 12, 1729. 

1. Renaud Dauterive vs. Alexandre. 

Further in process. 

2. Rebout vs. La Freniere. 

Settlement provided. 
Costs on defendant. 

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Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 357 

Petition to Evict. Nov. 14, 1729. Rivet sold a house to one Du- 
• perier, who returned to France and left the transac- 
tion in charge of one Sautier, joiner. Let S. be cited 
to vacate the said house, for failing to satisfy terms 
of sale. He shall also pay rent as due. 
Action allowed. 

Petition For Execution of Judgment. Nov. 14, 1729. Raymond 
Amyault D'Auseville requests the Council to confirm 
the ruling passed against Madame Ste. Hermine. The 
vacant premises daily suffer wanton depredations, as 
by removal of stakes from fences and poultry house. 
If Madame will not move back, let other tenants be 
installed, and Madame be held responsible for dam- 
ages. Notice served. 

Runaway Slave Case. Nov. 16, 1729. Examination of a Bam- 
bafa negro David, who admits running away (from 
his master de Manade) and complicity in killing a 
heifer. Ran away because his master broke a finger 
for him (not the master's) . 

Letter of Terrisse De Tcman to Rossard. Fort Chartres, Nov. 
20. Takes advantage to write by coincidence of dug- 
out carriers. Hams will be sent later, and as oppor- 
' tunity best serves. Writer has broached some native 
wine, still raw, but will endeavor to keep the full 
cask thereof till spring. Epiphany and Shrove Tues- 
day (which he spells marty eras) may tempt him to the 
contrary, but he thinks of absenting himself so as to 
keep his word until Easter. R. will please" to bear in 
mind such trifles as sugar and coffee, suitable reliefs 
in ascetic remoteness. 

Petition of Recovery. Nov. 22, 1729. Surgeon Major Jean de 
Reytet claims an account of 200 francs and a further 
item of 50 francs from Mr. Bimond. 

Action allowed. 

Faded almost extinct. 

Petition of Recovery. Nov. 22, 1729. Mr. Marian claims 88 
francs and 19 sous from one Malon, due on a note. 
Action allowed. 

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358 The Louisiana Historical Qitarterly 

Memorandum of Account. Nov. 24, 1729. Monsieur de St. Ju- 
lien's account with Rossard. List of miscellaneous 
items and transactions. Total 3862 francs. 

Entries also occur for April 3 and May 15, 1739. 

Ragged edges. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Nov. 26, 1729. 

1. D'Auseville vs. Madame Ste. Hermine. Modified 
ruling for plaintiff. Last portion effaced. 

2. St. Amant vs. Darclon Desche. 

St. A. nonsuited. 

3. Marin vs. Malon. Claim to be paid, plus costs. 

4. Rivet vs. Sautier. Adjourned. 

Petition of Recovery. Dec. 2, 1729. Jean Baptiste Beaupre 
seeks to collect the sum of 200 francs from Mr. Ros- 
sard, attorney, for certain supplies furnished on be- 
half of the late Senet, and also for petitfoner's time as 
plantation steward. 

Action allowed. 


Copy of Perier's (First Card) Instructions to Sieur Dusable: 
Natchez Affairs. Dec. 9, 1729. He shall get first- 
hand information of what is going on aux Natchez, and 
how the French fare on all the grants of the White 
land (Terre Blanche) and Ste. Catherine, whither the 
French have fled, it would seem. When he learns of 
anything noteworthy, let him write, or send a mes- 
senger, or even come down in person if the news were 
not to be trusted to a second party. Assure the 
French and the friendly Indians that war supplies will 
be found along the River. He shall accurately observe 
Indians of the small tribes along the River, so as 
to ascertain their sentiments and to learn whether 
they have been approached by the other Indian tribes. 
(See next card). 

(Second Card). Petition of Dusabl6. On the basis of the fore- 
going commission, which he followed out at risk of his 
life, Mr. Dusable, now of Natchitoches, but in transit 
at N. 0., asks the Council to defray at least his ex- 

Digitized by 


Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana 859 

penses on yonder expedition; which also included the 
reconnoitering of a road discovered by Officer St. Ju- 
lien, and purporting to be the work of the Chaque- 

Application approved : Salmon. 

Notice served by Sheriff Louis Hugault to Mr. Brus- 
le, representing Company of the Indies. 

Petition to Recover Bequests.. Dec. 12, 1729. R. P. Raphael 
enumerates various "pious legacies" devised to the 
Capuchin Community; to wit, 150 francs and also 
50 francs, for the poor, by will of late Desarbois ; 500 
francs, and a debt of 330 francs, by will of late 
Sieur de La Salle ; house and lot in Bourbon Street, by 
will of late Babas. Execution besought. 
Notice served to Mr. Rossard. 

Petition of Recovery. Dec. 20, 1729. De Moran claims 150 
francs from one Augustin Gouy de Nidal, due on a 
note dated May 24, 1729. 
Action allowed. 

Petition of Recovery. Dec. 24, 1729.Guillaume Bousquet alias 
Sansfacon moves for the citation of Jean Coupard to 
pay the sum of 246 francs and 15 sous, still due for 
value received in merchandise; as appears by note of 
Nov. 15, 1728. 
Action allowed. 

Petition to Recover Value of Slave. Dec. 24, 1729. La Boullaye 
was allt)tted a certain slave who proved incorrigibly 
lazy, or obstinate, when set to work. The said slave 
has died, and petitioner seeks to obtain a slave in 
compensation, from estate of the late Latour Pouila- 
don, owner of deceased slave. 
Action of inquiry allowed. 

Motion For Inquiry. Slave Suit. Dec. 29, 1729. Attorney Gen- 
eral Fleuriau relates the case of an unprofitable slave, 
supposed to have been wittingly palmed off on Mr. La 
Boullaye through the late Surgeon De La Tour's easy 
knowledge of slaves' fitness or unfitness. Let execu- 

Digitized by 


360 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

tor of the deceased surgeon's estate be cited, together 
with all persons likely to have knowledge of the facts 
at issue. 

No note by Court. 
. Faded. 

Petition to Seize Assets. Dec. 30, 1729. Messrs. DePerier and 
Dclachaise advanced 5000 francs to the late Mr. KoUy, 
for which he gave them his note dated March 29, 1728. 
Mr. K. now "finds himself included in the Natchez 
massacre, ' and the petitioners move to secure their 
loan by seizing a certain consignment which has ar- 
rived for Mr. K. by the ship L' Alexandre. Let Mr. 
Rossard, attorney for vacant estates, be cited. 

Approved, and meanwhile the said consignment may 
be seized. 

Attachment of Goods. Dec. 30, 1729. In consequence of pro- 
ceedings moved by Messrs. Perrier and Delachaise, 
Sheriff Dargaray seizes the consignment for late Mr. 
KoUy ; comprising three casks of wine, six quarters of 
flour, six "anchors" (about 96 gallons) of brandy, and 
a box of groceries. Mr. Pellerin, Company store- 
keeper, is notified to appear with reference to sale 
and award. 

Summons to Pay claim. Dec. 30, 1729. Mr. Rossard, attorney 
for vacant estates, is notified to appear on January 7, 
1730, to pay the claim of Messrs. Perier and Delachaise 
against Kolly estate. 

Decisions in Sundry Suits. Dec. 31, 1729. 

1. Guillaume Bousquet vs. Jean Coupart. Claim al- 

2. Morand vs. Augustin Gouy de Bidal. Claim al- 

3. R. P. Raphael vs. Rossard. Adjustments by 

4. R. P. Raphael vs. Rossard. Further in process. 

Digitized by 



Edited by Henry P. Dart. 


(Supplement to No. VII, Vol. 3, No. 4.) 

Transfer of Site of Hospital to Sr. Raguet by Joseph Villars Dubreuil and 
Appraisement of Building Material. 

May 10, 1736. Joseph Villars Dubreuil Retrocession to Ra- 
guet : 

Before us, acting as notary at New Orleans and the hereafter 
named and undersigned witnesses, appeared Sieur Joseph Villars 
Dubreuil, Contractor for His Majesty's works, residing in this 
city, who has acknowledged and admitted having sold, ceded, 
transferred, retroceded and relinquished, and by these presents 
does sell, cede, abandon, transfer, retrocede and relinquish from 
this moment and forever, without any other guarantee than the 
facts and promises only to Sr. Raguet, Councillor in the Superior 
Council of Louisiana, in the name of and as testamentary execu- 
tor of deceased Jean Louis, whilst living a resident of this city 
and first founder and benefactor of the establishment of a hos- 
pital for the poor and sick of this city, said Raguet being present 
accepting for himself as well as for those who will succeed him 
in the inspection and administration of the hospital in question, 
and this in conformity with the deliberations held relative to a 
site situated in this city, measuring twenty fathoms frontage by 
forty in depth ; on which there is a house of about fifty feet in 
length by twenty-two in width, built on the ground, of timber 
and surrounded by planks, (weather boarded?), with a kitchen 
of twenty feet encased in the same manner, with a chicken house 
and other commodities, circumstances and dependences of the 
said lot, which he purchased from the Ste. Reine Concession, by 
judicial adjudication made to him on the twenty second of last 
October, for the sum of twelve hundred and fifty livres with costs 
of court therein included, which he paid cash at the time to Sr. 
Raguet, attorney for the Widow Kolly proprietress of the said 
Concession Ste. Reine, which said sum has presently been re- 
mitted and paid to him by said Sr. Raguet, for which he acquits 
and discharges him. He has also paid to him a sum of two 

Digitized by 


362 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

thousand one hundred and eighty livres for all furnishings, la- 
bor and repairs which he made on the said house and its depen- 
dences, according to the estimate and memoir on the other part 
and transferred here as per agreement between the said pur- 
chaser and the said vendor and the R. F. Philipe, Vicar General 
and Cure of this city, by means of which payments of the prin- 
cipal as well as of the repairs heretofore mentioned and of the 
said lots, houses, circumstances and dependences which are here- 
after to serve as a hospital for the poor and sick inhabitants of 
Louisiana, which shall bo for and belong to the said hospital in 
full ownership, the vendor making full cession and transfer in the 
best possible form, without he or his successors being able to 
claim nor pretend to anything thereof, as he has presently re- 
mitted into the hands of the said purchaser all the titles to the 
property which were remitted to him, of all of which he 
is satisfied, for thus has it been agreed and settled between 
the said appearers, promising, obligating, renouncing in good 
faith and done and passed at New Orleans, on the tenth of May, 
one thousand seven hundred and thirty-six, in the presence of 
Srs. Pierre Dreux and Alexandre Portier, hereafter mentioned 
witnesses, the said parties and me, notary here residing. 

Signed: 'Raguet," "Du Breuil," "Portier," (paraph) "Dreu^" 
(paraph of. ) "Henry Clerk", (paraph) "R. P. Philipe." 

Statement of appraisement of the necessary work to be done on 
the Charity Hospital of this City, agreed on with M. Dubreuil, con- 
tractor for His Majesty's work, according to price and agree- 
ment with M. Raguet, inspector and administrator of the said 

Firstly, for rafters of new wood throughout the building, 
length and width ; 

To change thirty posts to new ones 'of C5T)ress in good condi- 
tion ; 300L. 

To make foundations of bricks, two and a half feet in height 
by two feet in breadth, length and width ; at 300L. for pavement 
in brick squares and to repair the chimneys, at 50L. 

For roof of new shingles, work, furnishings, nails and lathes, 
at 300 L. 

For the same repairs to he made to the kitchen with a new 
chimney and oven, the whole in good condition; at 300L. 

Digitized by 


Cabildo Archives — French Period 363 

To fence in the lot with new stakes, ten feet high, when set and 
lathes in place, furnishing the necessary nails for the lathes; 
at 250 L. 

For furnishing the nails to be used for the fence and to repair 
the main house, the kitchen and its roof, one hundred livres; 
100 L. 

For all the joiner's work, viz. : repairing the doors and shut- 
ters, naaking six new doors, with two sides, including those of 
the garden, of the yard and the stairway with planks and nails 
therefor; at 1700L. 

Further, for locks for said doors and two iron supports to the 
yard and garden doors, three locks and three latches ; at 120L. 

Further, for repairing the chicken house and to partly cover 
it with bark and to surround it with planks, and all necessary 
furnishings; at 100 L. 

To mend and clear the garden, to dig it up and to plant 
vegetables and level the yard ; ; at 80 L. 

Further, to make a brick way the whole length of the lot, 
five feet in width and to make the drainage around the lot; at 
60 L. 

Total, two thousand one hundred and eighty livre (2,180 L.) 

Done and agreed at New Orleans, on the fifth of May, one 
thousand seven hundred and thirty-six. 

The original signed : "Dubreuil and Raguet." 


Pardevant Nous faisant fonction de Notaire ala Nouvelle 
Orleans et les t6moins cy apres Nomm6s sous fut present Sieur 
Joseph Villars Dubreuil Entrepreneur des travaux de Sa Majeste 
demt en Cette Ville, Lequel a Recennu et Confess^ avoid Vendu 
c6de transports, Retroc6de et d61aiss6, et par ces presentes Vend, 
cede, quitte, transporte, Retrocede et delaisse des maintenant 
pour toujours et a jamais sans aucune guarantye que de ses 
faits et promesses seulement au Sr. Raguet Conr au Con Super- 
ieur de la oLuisianne au Nom et Comme Executeur testare de 
deffunt Jean Louis habt de cette Ville et premier fondateur et 
bienfaiteur des pauvres et malades de cette colonie, pour TEtab- 
lissement D'un hopital Led Sr. aRguet demt en cette ville et cy 

Digitized by 


364 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

present et acceptant tant pour Luy que pour ceux qui Luy suc- 
cederont Dans Linspection et Ladministration de Lhopital en 
question et ce conforme a la deliberation pass6e au sujet d'un 
Emplacement Situee en Cette Ville de Vingt toises de front sur 
quarante de profondeur, et sur leql il y a une Maison batie dessus 
d'Environ Cinqte pieds de long sur Vingt deux de Large, Batie 
sur soUe En Bois de charpante Et Entouree de planches, En- 
semble Une Cuisine de Vingt piedis en quasse de meme facon 
avec poulailler et autres Commodites Circonstances et depen- 
dances dudt terrain, leql il a acquis de la Concession Ste Reine 
suivant Lad judication Judiciaire qui Luy en a Este faitte le 

Vingt Deux Oct dernier, pour la somme de Douze Cent 

Cinqte Livres en Ce y Compris les frais de Justice quil paya 
Comptant alors au Sr. Raguet procureur de Made, la Vve. Kelly 
proprietaire de lad. Concession Ste Reine Laquelle ditte somme 
luy a presentemt Este Remise et paye en Especes par led Sr. 
Raguet dont il len quitte et dessarge Comme aussy il luy a pay6 
la somme de deux mil cent quatre vingts livres pour touttes les 
fournitures, travaux et Reparations quil a fait a lade Maison et 
ses dependances suivant le devis et Memoire De lautre part et 
transporte cy dessus ainsi que ledt acquereur en Estant Con- 
venu avec led Sr. Vendeur et le R. P. philipe Vicaire glial et 
Cure de Cette Ville, au moyen desquels paymts tant du fond 
principal que des reparations cy devant Expliques et Lesd ter 
rains maisons circonstances et dependances qui doivent servir 
dorenavant d'hopital pour les paubres et habitans malades de la 
Louisianne seront et appartiehdront en toute propriete aud ho- 
pital le vendeur en f aisant toute cession et transport en meilleur% 
forme qui se puisse estre, sans que luy ny ses successeurs en 
puisse rien R^clamar Ny pretendre Comme aussi il a presmt Re« 
mis qui Luy auroient Estes Remis, dont il se tient pour Content 
car ainsy a Este Convenu Et arrete Entre les foy Et a fait Et 
pass6 a la Nouvelle Orleans le Dixe may mil sept Cent trente six 
en presence des Srs. Pierre Dreux Et Alexandre portier temoins 
sousds demt les d partyes et Nous Notaire. 

Raguet Du Breuil Portier Dreux, 

Henry <paraphe) gffr Nre. 

1 Soussignes — Word omitted in text and supplied. 

Digitized by 


Cabildo Archives^— French Period 866 

Devis Estimatif des ouvrages quil est necessaire de faire a 
Ihopital de la Charite de cette ville Convenues avec Mr. Du Breuil 
Entrepreneur des travaux du Roy suivant le prix ez apres areste 
avec Mr. aRguet Inspecteur et odministrateur dud hopital. 

Premierement pour solaive en bois neuf le Batiment d'un 
bout a lautre longueur et largeur. 

Et changer de trente poteau neuf tout de bois de sipre bien 
conditionnes cy 300 Iv. 

Pour faire les fondemens de briques de deux pieds et demi 
de haut sur deux depresseur longueur et largeur cy 300 Iv. 

Pour le pave en Careau de brique et racomod6 les Cheminfies 
cy 50 Iv. 

Pour la Couverture en Bardeaux tout neuf facon f ourniture 
Cloud et lattes, 300 Iv. 

Pour les meme reparations a faire a la Cuisine avec une Che- 
minee neuve et un four le tout bien Conditions cy 300 Iv. 

Pour entourer le terrain de pieux neuf de dix Pieds de hau- 
teur poses et lattes en place avec f ourniture des Clouds necessaire 
pour les lattes, 250 Iv. 

Pour fourniture des Clouds qui doivent entrer a lentourage 
et a raccomoder la grand maison la Cuisine et Couvertune d'i- 
cele Cent'Livres cy Pour toute la menuiserie Scavoir Raccamo- 
der les porteset les Contrevens faire six Portes neufs a deux 
Battants cy compris Celles du jardin de la Cour et de Lescalier 
avec planches et Clouds cy, 120 Iv. 

Plus pour la ferrure desd Portes avec deux valleta de fer 
au porte de Cour et Jardin, trois serrures et trois Locquets cj 
120 Iv. 

Plus pour Raccomoder le poulailler le recouvrir d'Ecosse en 
partie et Tentourer de planche fourniture de totut ce quil faut 
cy 100 Iv. 

Plus pour Raccomeder et def richer le jardin le piocher et le 
faire planter de Legume et aplanir li^ Cour cy 80 Iv. 

Plus pour faire un Chemin pave de Brique la lonqueur du ter- 
rain Cinq Pieds sde Large Et faire les Ecoulemens alentour du 
terrain cy 601v. 

Total deu mil cent quatre Vingts Livres 2189 Iv. 

Fait et arreste a la Nouvelle Orleans le Cinquieme May mil 
• sept Cent trent six sign6 a lorginal, Dubreuil, Et Raguet. 

Digitized by 


866 The Louisiana Historical Qtuirterly 


(Supplement to No. Vl, Vol. 3. No. 4, p. 551.) 
July 15, 1737. Fo. 7 (2102) 

Contract of Tiocou with Director of Hospital, 


Before the Notary Royal of Louisiana and the hereafter 
named and undersigned witnesses, appeared Francois Tiocou, a 
free negro of the Senegal nation, residing in New Orleans, who, 
wishing to procure liberty for Marie Aram, his wife, a negress 
slave, has voluntarily acknowledged and .admitted that he has en- 
gaged himself, and in fact engages himself, by these presents, 
with M. Raguet, Director of the charity hospital called the St. 
John, situated in this city, and with Rev. F. iPhilipped, Capuchin 
priest and Cure of the said place. Assistant Vicar General of His 
Grace of Kebecq (Quebec), here present, accepting for the said 
hospital that the said Tiocou work and exert himself for it and do 
all that he may be ordered and commanded to do at the said hos- 
pital for the service of the poor and sick who are now there and 
who may be there in the future, during the six coming and con- 
secutive years, beginning on the first of January of the coming 
year^ besides the remainder of the present year, during which 
time he will work at the said hospital without any remuneration 
whatever, being fed with provisions of the country and supported 
as the Inspector wills, at the completion of which time, as a reward 
for his work, the said Sr. Raguet and R. F. Philipe shall give 
and remit liberty to one Marie Aram, negress slave of the said 
hospital, wife of the said Tiocou, who shall be and shall remain 
a free subject of His Majesty, to have and to hold now and for- 
ever, without any one whomsoever being able to disturb her, and 
said Marie Aram will be considered as the other legitimate wives 
married to the subjects of the King. It has also been agreed that 
if the said Tiocou should leave before the six years have expired, 
he could claim nothing whatever as salary, for it has thus been 
agreed between the parties, each in good faith, promising, obli- 
gating, etc., renouncing all that is contrary to this. Done and 
passed in New Orleans, July 12th, before noon, in notary's office. 

Digitized by 


Cabildo Archives — French Period 367 

in the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven, in the 
presence of Louis Hugault and Pierre Piquery, witnesses resid- 
ing at said place, and as to said Tiocou, he has declared that he 
does not know how to write nor sign, whereon inquiries as per 

Signed: "Fr philippe. Cap. priest. Missy". "Raguet". 

"Piquery*'. "Hugault" (paraph). 

"Henry ntry" (paraph). 

Pierre Piquery was the King's baker. 

Hugault, was for a time clerk of the Superior Council. 

Original Text: 

Pardevant Le Notaire Royal ala Louisianne Et Les temoins 
cy bas Nomm6s et soubsign6s f ut present f rancois tiocou Negre 
Libre de Nation Senegal demt ala Nouvelle Orleans Lequel vou- 
lant procurer la Libert^ de Marie Aram so fanmie Negresse Es- 
clave, a Volontairement Reconnu Et Confess^ a Estre Engage, 
Comme de fait il sEngage; par lesd pr6sentes, avec Mr Raguet 
Con'' au Con®* Supr d ela Louisianne, au Nom et Comme Inspec- 
teur de Lhopital de la charity apelle le St Jean scitu6 en cette Ville, 
et avec le R. Philiped prestre Capucin Cure dud Lieu, et provi- 
caire general de Mngr de Kebecq a ce present et acceptant pour 
led hopital pour par Led tiocou, travailler Et agir et f aire tout ce 
<iui Luy Sera ordonn6 et Commande pour ledt et le service des 
pauvres et malades qui y sont et Seront a Lavenir et cependant 
fLespace de six annees prochaines et Consecutives sans disconti- 
nuation a commencer du premier Janvier de Lann'e prochaine 
outre Le Restant de la presente, quil travaillera audt hopital. Sans 
aucune Retribution pendant Leql temps II sera Nourry aux 
Vuivres du pays et Entretenu ala Volonte dud Sr Inspecteur, au 
bout Duquel temps, et pour Recompense desd travaux dud tiocou 
Led Sr Raguet et R P philipe aud nom Luy donneront et Remet- 
tront La Nomm^e marie aram Negresse Esclave dud hopital, et 
femme dud tiocou, Laquelle sera et demeurera Libre, et sujet de 
sa majeste pour Lavoir et garder a tou jours et a Jamais sans que 
qui que sait puisse Liquieter, Laquelle marie aram sera Regardee 
Comme les autres femmes Legitimes marines aux sujets du Roy, 

Digitized by 


368 The Louisiana Histcfrical ^tiarterly 

a Este aussy Convenu que si led tiocou Voiiloit quitter avant lesd 
six anriees Expirees II ne pourroit Kien Exiger d'aucune facon 
po\ir ses sialaires, car siinsy a Este Convenu Entre les parties 
promettant chacuri En foy, bbligent, &6, Renoncant a toutes 
choses a ce Contraire fait et passe ala Nouvelle Orleans, Le douze 
Juillet avant midy Etude du Notaire, Lan mil sept cent trente 
sept, en. presence de Louis hugault et pierre piquery temoins demt 
aiid Lieu pour et alegard dud tiocou, a declare Ne scavoir Ecrire 
Ny signer de ce Enquis Suivant Lord^® 

Fr Philippe pre Cap Misse Raguet 

PIQUERY" Hugault (paraph). 

Henry ntry (paraphe) 

Digitized by 



By A. B. Booth, Commissioner Military Records. 

It is reasonably certain, that there is not extant a complete 
and perfect record of the Individual Members of any Louisiana 
Confederate States Army Command. 

The nearest approach to such a Record is to be found in the 
Records in the office of the Commissioner of Louisiana Military 
Records of such organizations, as served in the Army of North- 
ern Virginia, where the discipline was perchance, best and where 
the muster rolls and reports were more promptly and regularly 

These records do, however, furnish many thousand proofs of 
Individual Soldiers, complete and perfect, in establishing their de- 
voted service to their country to. the end of the strife. 

Patriotic men who were either killed in battle, died in camp> 
or in hospital, languished in Northern prisons, until after the 
fall of the Confederacy, or were duly present and paroled, at the 
final surrender of the Confederate States armies. 

It is a lamentable fact, however, that a very large number, 
many of whom had served with honorkble records, to within a 
short time of the close of the war, were absent without leave, at 
the final surrender of their respective commands, and, therefore, 
were not included in the rolls of those actually surrendered and 
paroled : their orderly sergeants very properly not reporting them 
for parole. 

They are themselves to blame, not the Parole Records, for 
their not being in the Parole Lists, with their former comrades in 

And the plight of such as these, as were in the Trans-Missis- 
sippi Department is aggravated by the fact, that at the surrender 
of General E. Kirby Smith, May 26th, 1865, it is said the Confed- 
erate Records, including the Muster Rolls, were burned at Shreve- 
port, La., so that there were no Records left to even show their 
service up to near the time of final surrender. 

Digitized by 


370 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Thus the whole burden of proof is thrown upon these ab- 
sentees. This condition of absenteeism is fully established by 
many Official Records and papers, not only for the Louisiana Sol- 
diers in the West, but also for those in other sections of the South. 

Papers such as those which I will quote will show this deplor- 
able state of affairs, a condition, which gives additional lustre to 
the devoted service of those noble men, whose devotion to duty 
and to country, nerved them to stand the final test of soldierly 
honors, and while their comrades were deserting from duty, and 
from them could yet stand firm and not lay down their arms, un- 
til they could do so honorably and deserving the parole, which is 
their certificate of loyalty, faithfulness, devotion to country, and 
to their enlistment oath. 

These conditions are described by officers in command, some 
of whom I quote below, especially to show conditions in the Trans- 
Mississippi Department as follows : 

Headquarters Trans-Mississippi Dept. 

Shreveport, La., April 21st, 1865. 
Soldiers of the Trans-Mississippi Army : 

The crisis of our revolution is at hand. Great disasters have 
overtaken us. The Army of Northern Virginia and our Com- 
mander-in-Chief are prisoners of war. With you rests the hopes 
of our Nation, and upon your action depends the fate of our peo- 
ple. I appeal to you in the name of the cause you have so heroic- 
ally maintained — in the name of your firesides and families so 
dear to you — in the name of your bleeding country, whose future 
is in your hands. Show that you are worthy of your position in 
history. Prove to the world that your hearts have not failed in 
the hour of disaster, and that at the last moment you will sustain 
the holy cause, which has been so gloriously battled for by your 
brethren east of the Mississippi. 

You possess the means of long resisting invasion. You have 
hopes of succor from abroad — protract the struggle and you will 
surely receive the aid of nations, who already deeply sympfithize 
with you. 

Stand by your colors — ^maintain your discipline. The great 
resources of this Department — its vast extent, the numbers — ^the 
discipline, and the efficiency of this army will secure to our coun- 
try terms, that a proud people can with honor accept, and may 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 371 

under the Providence of God, be the means of checking the tri- 
umph of our enemy and securing the final success of our cause. 

E. KiRBY Smith, 


Houston, April 29th, 1865. 
Brig. Gen. W. R. Boggs, 

Chief of Staff, Shreveport. 
I must have some reliable Cavalry ; the little I have is scat- 
tered all over the state. Walker ought to be under my command. 
We must have unity. The men are deserting by tens and twenties 
a night . 

J. B. Magbudeb, 
Major General Commanding. 

Headquarters Forces Front Lines, 

May 11, 1865. 
Col. R. L. Capers, 

Commanding Fifth Louisiana Cavalry: 
Colonel: You will express my commendation and approval 
to the men of your regiment who have remained true to their col- 
ors, notwithstanding the force of example and temptation. The 
circumstances that surround us are peculiar, and we should act 
with that patriotism that has ever distinguished the soldier. The 
interest of the private and the officer is identical, for the power 
that is vested in the one arises only from the representation and 
obedience of the other. What particular object those unfortunate 
men, who secretly left their companions oni the night of the 9th 
instant may have expected to accomplish is difficult to imagine. 
By this one step they lose the results of their long endurance and 
sacrifice, the reputation that they have won. I have no desire to 
force men against their wishes to struggle for their own freedom, 
and under no circumstances would* I wish to lead into battle any 
tody of men who desire to abandon the cause for which we have 
taken up arms. There is a time for all things, and men should not 
unduly precipitate their action. I have no doubt but that oppor- 
tunities will be frankly offered for men to select their own course ; 
and that no unreasonable violence will be exhibited by our supe- 
rior officers, who have attested by the common perils that they 
have freely shared with us their devotion to the common weal. 
But the present is not the time for men to act. Intrusted with the 

Digitized by 


372 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

duty of the front, sacred responsibilities toward our comrades in 
arms require us to be vigilant and faithful ; and even those who 
have or may determine to abandon the contest and go home will, 
if they desire to do so, have ample opportunities to execute their 
purposes, when, even if we had the desire, we would not have the 
power to retain them. How. sad would be the spectacle of Louisi- 
anians turning upon each other those arms which they took up 
against a common foe, whose triumph this fraternal contest would 
consecrate. We have stood togethei; in many trying scenes, and 
if we must part let us not part as enemies, but as brothers, dealing 
openly and frankly with each other, not going away from each 
other in the night as if we knew some wrong was being committed 
towards those who re^main. Then while we remain together let us 
cherish toward each other the same confidence that has ever ex- 
isted ; and I trust that it is not necessary for me to say that the 
men will find in me one who sjrmpathizes with their many suffer- 
ings and who has no disposition to exercise his authority for the 
purpose of oppression. In the short period your men have been 
attached to my command I have been pleased with thqm and grat- 
ified at their hearing ; and I am confident if those men who left us 
the other night had come and conversed frankly with rae they 
would now have remained, cheerful and contented with those now 
present with the regiment who have thus preserved their honor 
untarnished to the end. 

I am. Colonel, yours respectfully, 

J. L. BrExNT. 
Brigadier-General Commanding. 

Headquarters Forces Front Lines, 

Alexandria, La., May 13th, 1865. 

Colonel R. L. Capers, 

(Through Col. W. G. Vincent, 

Commanding Brigade, etc. 
. Colonel : I regret to learn the sad demoralization of your 
command, but I take pleasure in expressing to you my conviction, 
that you have done all in your power to check it. I wish you to 
proceed with the debris of your Regiment to Mansfield to report 
to Brigadier-General Bagby. If you can cross Cane River at Mo- 
nett's Ferry, you will proceed via Natchitoches. If not, you can 
turn off to the right and go by Beasley's, Bellwood, Fort Jessup 

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Louisiana Confederate Military Records 37S 

and Pleasant Hill. If on reaching Beasley's, you deem it advisable 
for supplies to march via Natchitoches you can do so, but this will 
be near fifteen miles out of your way. You can get meal early to- 
morrow morning at Boyce^s Mill, and this evening you may move 
your Regiment to that vicinity, sending an officer to Monett's 
Ferry to meet you on your march tomorrow with the information 
relative to the crossing. I wish you to move with what you can 
carry, as rapidly as possible. Express my admiration to the offi- 
cers and men of Company E at their conduct. 


J. L. Brent, 

Brigadier-General Commanding. 

, Houston, May 16th, 1865. 
General E. Kir]by Smith, 

Commanding Trans-Mississippi Dept., Shreveport, La. 
General: Major-General Walker refuses to give up the com- 
mand for the present to Brigadier-General Bee, though he was in- 
formed that the order came from Department Headquarters. I 
wish De Bray's Regt. ordered to Harrisburg. A portion of the 
garrison at Galveston mutinied on Sunday. This arrangement 
will probably prevent another mutiny and sayp Houston. It is a 
burning injustice to me to deprive me of the command of the cav- 
alry under these trying circumstances. 

J. B. Magruder, 
Major General Commanding. 

Houston, May 16th, 1865. 
General E. Kirby Smith, 

Commanding Trans-Mississippi Dept., Shreveport, La. 
General: On the night of the 14th inst. from most reliable 
information, that can be obtained some 400 of the troops at- 
tempted to desert the post of Galveston. Colonel Smith by prompt 
action supported by Colonel Timmons' and Colonel Hobby's Regi- 
ments arrested their advance and restored quiet. I learn from 
Major-General Maxey, that, notwithstanding all his efforts, he 
cannot produce such a state of feeling in his division, as will jus- 
tify him in depending upon their resisting. I have seen letters 
from intelligent officers in Walker's Infantry Division, who state 
that those troops will fight no longer. I have sent for Gen. Walk- 
er, and he will be here today ; will add what he may say after I see 

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him. The officers and men insist upon dividing the property be- 
fore the surrender, and I think it ought to be done, as I have tele- 
graphed you. I have exerted myself more than 1 ever did to instill 
a spirit of resistance into the men, but in vain. I but make myself 
antagonistic to the Army and an object of their displeasure. Noth- 
ing more can be done except to satisfy the soldiers, to induce them 
to preserve their organization, and to send them in Regiments, 
etc.. to their homes with as little damage to the community as pos- 
sible. For God's sake act or let me act. 

J. B. Magbuder, 
Major General Commanding. 
P. S. — I entirely concur in the foregoing. I will say in addi- 
tion that my observation convinces me, that the troops of this dis- 
trict cannot be relied upon. They consider the contest a hopeless 
one, and will lay down their arms at the first appearance of the 
enemy. This is the unanimous opinion of the Brigade and Regi- 
mental Commanders of Forney's Division, whom I have this day 
consulted. The Cavalry are still firm and quiet, but only waiting 
for what they consider the inevitable result, viz, Surrender. 

Respectfully, Etc., 

J. G. Walkee, 
Major-General Commanding Div. of Cavalry. 

Headquarters Forces Front Lines, 

Alexandria, May 13th, 1865. 
Colonel L. A. Bringier, 

Commanding Seventh Louisiana Cavalry. 

Colonel : 

General Brent has directed me in his temporary absence to 
open all communications to him marked "personal" or "private," 
and if they related to official matters requiring immediate atten- 
tion to refer them to Col. Vincent, commanding the front. 

In accordance with those instructions your communication 
of the 16th instant was referred to Colonel Vincent, who would 
respectfully direct you to use your own discretion in granting 
leaves of absence to your men for such time and purpose, as you 
think best consistent with preserving Regimental organization. 
Indeed, with the whole country filled with deserters with arms in 
their handsf the question would naturally arise whether many of 
those, who have thus far remained true and fast to their colors 

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Louisiana Confederate Military Records 375 

should not be allowed to go home to defend their families. The 
fact can no longer be concealed, that the whole Army and people, 
with scarce an individual exception, are resolved to fight no more, 
and to break up the Army at all hazards. All is confusion and de- 
moralization here, nothing like order and discipline remains. 
Heavy desertions and plundering of Government property of 
every kind is the order of the day. There are but eighty-six en- 
listed men at the forts. All the commands of every arm of the 
service at and near Alexandria are destroyed, viz: Yoist's and 
litcMahan's Batteries; the Heavy Artillery and Infantry at the 
forts, the Third and Fifth Louisiana Cavalry. The Second Cav- 
alry still retains its organization,, but there have been heavy de- 
sertions, the men are thoroughly demoralized and all may leave at 
any moment; in a word, Colonel, the army is destroyed and we 
must look the matter square in the face and shape our actions 
(personally and officially) accordingly. The Colonel Command- 
ing commends you highly for your success in preserving thus long 
your organization and so many men. He thinks that all that can 
be expected of you is to use every mild and conciliatory means to 
preserve your Regimental organization, but any violent measures 
to restrain desertions now is believed both by him and General 
Brent to be conducive of no good results, and would only tend to 
exasperate the soldiery and cause them to commit depredations 
on citizens, besides endangering the lives of officers uselessly. 
The Colonel Commanding hopes the tenor of this communication 
will be properly understood ; it is designed to be merely advisory, 
and you are left free to act as you think best, and at the same 
time to preserve regimental organization. 


D. F. Boyd, 

Asst. Adjt. Gen. 

Headquarters Forces Front Lines, 

Alexandria, May 20th, 1865. 
Colonel L. A. Bringier, 

Commanding Seventh Louisiana Cavalry. 

Colonel: The Colonel Commanding congratulates you on 

your safe arrival at Tanner's with your train. He directs that you 

remain at or near Tanner's till further orders, and if you find 

yourself unable to preserve your train, you will distribute your 

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376 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

wagons and teams to responsible planters in the neighborhood of 
your camp, taking a receipt, "to be returned on your order." It 
would be worse than useless to attempt to bring your train here. 
Every wagon and mule would be stolen in less than four hours 
after your arrival. There is corn at Tanner's, at your own depot, 
it is said, and also Government beeves in the swamps near by. CoL 
Vincent believes, therefore, that you will have no difficulty in sub- 
sisting your command. He furthermore impresses upon you the 
necessity of preserving your regimental organization intact, and 
for that reason, and the fact that General Brent expressly ordered 
that your leave of absence be withheld till further orders. Colonel 
Vincent, in the absence of any order from General Brent on the 
subject, does not feel authorized to send you your leave of absence. 
He regrets, that he feels it his duty to contravene your wishes in 
that regard, but your presence is so necessary at all times to your 
command, and especially at this juncture, that he feels confident, 
that you will cheerfully acquiesce in his decision. General Brent 
is now on the Mississippi River attempting to negotiate a surren- 
der of General Hays' command. District of West Louisiana. The 
Louisiana Generals are acting independently of General Smith 
and General Buckner, who are determined in no event to surren- 
der, have now no hope of success, and would bring ruin on Louis- 
iana and Texas merely to enable them to escape with a Corporal's 
Guard into Mexico. For these reasons Louisiana must look out 
for herself, and there is but little doubt, that in a few days the 
district will be surrendered on the terms granted General Taylor. 
Inclosed please find copy of General Order from Headquarters. 
Should you have any difficulty to subsist, let it be known ; an ef- 
fort (but in vain we fear) will be made to relieve you. 


D. F. Boyd, 
Assistant Adjutant-General. 

This shows the trying and unsatisfactory condition of affairs 
just before the final surrender of General E. Kirby Smith's Army 
on May 26th, 1865. 

It was indeed a situation to test the loyalty and soldierly 
qualities of the Confederate troops in the Trans-Mississippi 
Army, both officers and men. 

It is indeed an honor to such officers as our Creole fellow 
citizen (long since deceased) Col. L. A. Bringier and the men 

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Louisiana Confederate Military Records 377 

who remained steadfast in the performance of duty until honor- 
ably surrendered and paroled. 

It is also a credit to the Cavalry branch of the service that 
they showed up as well as they did under these very trying condi- 
tions ; when so many of their comrades in arms, especially in other 
branches of the service, had weakened, and left, unmindful of 
their duty, to remain subject to orders, to the end. The federal 
parole list here» became a roll of honor, certifying to the loyalty of 
every Confederate soldier, surrendered, and paroled in the Trans- 
Mississippi Department ; and in fact all over the south. 

This does not mean, however, that there are not some who 
served to the end of the war, and who were really entitled to and 
deserving of paroles — who will not show on our parole lists, or 
have record in our publication, showing service to the end of the 

But the number is comparatively small, and it would appear 
that they themselves were at fault, through some neglect of duty. 
* There were some, however, who were absent on short fur- 
lough which extended beyond the date of surrender. Others were 
on detail service in the Commissary, Quartermaster, or Ordnance 
departments, away from their commands, and who may have 
failed to come in and get paroled, at the time of surrender. Some 
others were absent, wounded or on sick furlough, or in hospitals 
at a distance, and may not have been accounted for by the orderly 
sergeant, or officer who turned in the eligibles for parole. 

These are of course unfortunate cases, unfortunate alike to 
the soldier, and to his posterity, but fortunately there are not very 
many of these. 

I hold however that where all the record the Government has 
of a soldier is good and no faltering or neglect of duty, is found 
recorded against him, and his service is shown to the end of 1864 ; 
great charity should be exercised toward him, and he should be 
given the benefit of the doubt in honoring his record if living, or 
memory if dead, or in extending the pension benefits to him or his 
widow if such survive him. 

The rather chaotic condition prevailing everywhere at the 
front in 1865, would appear to give some justification to such ex- 
tension of charitable consideration to those whose good record 
previously, would somewhat extenuate their fault of absence at 
the last moment, of the most crucial t^st. 

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878 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Such charitable consideration for those who are unfortunate 
could in no way detract from the honor and glory due to every 
soldier, who died on the battle field or in camp, or who languished 
in Northern prisons to the end, or was honorably discharged for 
sickness, or wounds, or who was paroled at the end of the war. 

Our publication will perpetuate the certificate of honor which 
these have earned and they can afford to be charitable to their 
comrades of good record, otherwise, but who were unfortunate at 
the end. 

Fortunately at the close of the war between the States the 
muster rolls and Confederate papers captured by the Union Army 
from the Confederates, were sent to the War Department, and 
were there saved, collated and compiled for reference papers. 

But the people of the States both North and South were re- 
fused access to them for forty-five years after the war. 

The State of Louisiana was the first state to make the fight 
to get access to these records, and was the first state to succeed in 
getting access to them for historical purposes, although many 
i^tates North and South had applied and had been refused by de- 
partment ruling. 

And it was nearly four years after the attempt to collate and 
compile records of the Louisiana Confederate soldiers was begun 
by Commissioner Thomas W. Castleman, that through the aid of 
our members of Congress, he finally got access to the vaults con- 
taining these Louisiana records. 

He then commenced the photographing of the records — which 
work had to be done under supervision of a Government official 
who counted and controlled each piece, and watched that no 
changes could be made in the rolls. (See postcard and photo ac- 
companying this.) 

All of these photographs of war rolls, of Louisiana Confed- 
erate troops, are now in the office of the Commissioner of Mili- 
tary Records. 

They exhibit over 450,000 photographs of individual card 
records of Service of Louisiana soldiers. 

There are 24,199 photographed record sheets of which 413 
are photographs of copies made in the War Department, Wash- 
ington D. C, of rolls borrowed from Memorial Hall, New Orleans, 
La., in 1903 for the purpoi^ of copying them. 

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Louisiana Confederate Military Records 379 

We have also 39,249 envelope card records of paroled sol- 
diers, prison records, death lists, etc. 

We estimate the enlistment from Louisiana in the Confeder- 
ate Army at about 56,000 and with re-enlistments other than 
twelve months regiments, which re-enlisted as commands, would 
go to 65,000 names. When we complete our publication, the num- 
ber will be more accurately established. 

The appropriation for the ensuing two (2) years ending 
June 20th, 1920, may enable the completion of the compilation 
and the publication of the individual record of each soldier in 
alphabetical form A to Z for future reference, and also a brief his- 
tory of the 980 companies and the various commands from Louis- 
iana, which will add interest and usefulness to the work for all 
time ; then the office of Commissioner of Louisiana Military Rec- 
ords, can be abolished without injury to the Confederate soldier, 
as far as he is concerned. 

The manifold demands of public duties, as well as official 
work, has prevented my having time to make this paper as com- 
prehensive, as the subject justifies. 

But perchance I may have tried your patience already, and 
therefore out of consideration for this audience, I will close by in- 
viting their attention to an addenda to this paper, showing local 
designation of 980 companies, which organized in Louisiana. 

And also showing the dates of six hundred engagements — 
greftt and small in Louisiana during the four (4) years of the 
Confederate war ; most of these were of course skirmishes. 

The publication of both of these tabulations like our other 
publications when completed, would, I am sure, interest many 
thousand descendants of Louisiana Confederate soldiers; and be 
a just and lasting tribute and monument to the soldier himself. 

The compilation alphabetically of the individual soldier's rec- 
ord is a work, which requires the most painstaking integrity, that 
only facts be published, and that no omissions are permitted, 
which could detract from, or mar the good name of any soldier 
that served. 


Alphabetical list and local designations of Louisiana organ- 
i-^ations in the Confederate Army comprising Infantry, Artillery, 
Cavalry and Militia — 980 military companies organized in Lou- 
isiana : 

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380 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Alexander Rifles (Company 24, Regt. La. Infty, Co. K. Cret. 

Alexandria Independent Guards, La. Militia. 

Alfred Davis Guards, Company G, Miles Legion, Louisiana. 

Algiers Guards, Company A, 30th La. Infty. Served also as 
/ Igiers Battn. La. Militia. 

Algiers Artillery, Baker's Co.. Algiers Battn. La. Militia. 

Algiers Co., La. Militia, Ind. 

Allen Rifles, Company 1, 26th La. Infty. 

Allen Guards, Company I, 23rd La. Infty. 

Alligator Rangers, Co. F, 2nd La, Cavalry. . 

American Rifles, Co. G, 7th La. Infty., Co. F, Sumpter Rifles. 

American Rifles, Co. B, Co. C, 30th La. Regt. Infty. 

American Rifles, subsequently became 8th Co. F, Sumpter 
30th La. Mil. Regt. 

Amite City Rifles, La. Militia, Ind. 

Anacoco Rangers, Co. K, 19th La. Infty. 

Arcadia Guards, Co. F. 18th La. Infty. 

Arcadia Invincibles, Co. B, 12th La. Infty. 

Armstrong Guards, Co. K. 14th La. Infty, Sulakowski's Regt. 

Ascension Guards, La. Militia, Ind. 

Asenheimers 1st, Co. B, Co. B 20th La. Infty. 

Askew Guards Co. C, 14th La. Infty, Sulakowski's Regt. 

Askew Greys, Co. F, Kennedy's 21st La. Infty. 

Assumption Creoles, Co. C, 26th La. Volunteers. 

Atchafalaya Guards, Co. H, 2nd La. Infty. 

Atchafalaya Mounted Scouts, Battn. La. Cavalry. 

Attakapas Guards, Co. C, 8th La. Infantry. 

Attakapas Rangers, La. Mil., Ind. 

Austrian Guards Co., 4th Regt., European Brig. La. Mil. Vol. 

Avenco Rifles, Co. I, 13th, afterwards Co. G., 14th La. Infty. 

Avoyelles Fencibles, La. Militia, Co. A., Johnson's Spec. 

Avoyelles Rifles, La. Militia, Ind. 

Baker Guards, Capt. F. Lang's Co., Continental Regt., La. 
Mil. Vols., also Co. F, H. Lew's Balln., Regt. La. Mil. 

Barlow's Battery, Capt. \7m. P. Barlow, Ind. 

Baton Rouge Fencibles, Co. B, 7th La. Infty. 

Baton Rouge Guards, served in E. Baton Rouge Regt., Ind. 

Baton Rouge Invincibles, Co. B, 9th, 17th Battn. La. Inf. 

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Louisiana Confederate Military Records 881 

Baton Rouge National Guards, La. Mil., served in E, Baton 
Rouge Regt., Ind. 

Baton Rouge Rangers, Co. B, Ist La. Cavalry. 

Battalion La., Cazadores Espanoles, Louisiana Legion. 

Bayliss Battn., Par. Rangers, Capt. W. H. Bayliss, Ind. 

Bayou Boeuf Cavalry Guards, La. Mil, Ind. 

Bayou Boeuf Home Guards, La. Mil., Ind. 

Bayou Goula Co., La. Mil., served in Iberville Regt., Ind. 

Beauregard Battn. Battery La. Mil. 

Beauregard Cadets, 2nd Brig. 1st Div. La. Mil., Ind. 

Beauregard Fencibles, Co. K, afterwards I, 12th La. Inf. 

Beauregard Guards, La. Mil. Co. C, La. Irish Regt. La. Mil. 

Beauregard Invincibles, Co. K, afterwards 1. 12th La. Inf. 

Beauregard Mounted Lt. Grds., La. Mil., Ind. 

Beauregard Rangers, Co. D, Cres. Regiment La. Inf., 24th 
Regt., La. Inf. 

Beauregard Rangers, La. Mil., Ind. 

Beauregard Rebels, La. Mil., Ind. 

Beauregard Regiment, Col. F. A. Bartlett's La. Regt., La. MiU 

Beauregard Rifles, Co. — , 30th La. Inf., Co. K Sumpter Regt. 
Co. A Beauregard Battn., La. Mil. 

Beauregard Siege Art., La. Mil., Ind. 

Beauregard Siege Battery, Capt. Theo. Morano's Co., La. 

Beauregard Tigers, La. Mil. Co. F, Jeff Davis Battn. & Regt 

Beauregard Creek Rifles, Co. G, 4th La. Inf., also Co. E. 9th 
Battn., La. Cav., Cav. (P. R.) after Wingfield's 3rd La. Cav. 

Belgian Legion, La. Mil., Ind. 

Belgium Infantry, Louisiana Legion. 

Bell Battery, Capt. T. 0. Benton's Co., La. Arty. 

Belmont Guards, La. Mil., served in Beauregard Regt., Ind. 

Ben McCullough Rangers, Ind. 

Ben McCullough Rangers, Capt. Wm. F. McLean's Ind. Co, 
2nd La. Inf. 

Benton's Battery, Bell Batty., 4th La. Batty., 3d La. Batty., 
served as Co. C 3rd Battn., Fid. Batty., Ind. 

Bienvenu Guards, Capt. A. Lartigue's Co., La. Vols. 

Benjamin's Co., La. Cav., Independent Co. 

Bienville Rifles, Co. B, 8th La. Inf. 

Bienville Rifles, La. Mil., disbanded at Camp Moore declining 
to serve for the war, Ind. 

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382 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Bienville Blues, Co. C, 9th La. Inftjr. 

Bienville Guards, Co. C 5th La. Infty. 

Bienville Guards, Lartigue's Co., King's Spec. Battn., La. 

Big Bend, Co — , Capt. W. J. Rusk, Ind. 

Big Cane Rifles, Co. K, 16th La. Infty. 

Black River Mtd. Rifles, served in Concordia Regt., Ind. 

Black Yagers, Co. B., 22nd, afterwards 21st La. Infty. 

Black's Rifle Guards Co., Jackson's Regt., La. Infty., 5th 

Blakesley Guards, La. Mil. Co., 4th Regt., French Brig. 

Blucher Guards* La. Mil., Capt. Hy. Miester, Ind. 

Boeuf River Rebels, Co. B, 27th La. Infty. 

Bogart Guards, Co. C, 3rd La. Battn., afterwards Co. H. 15th 
La. Infty. 

Bonford Guards, Co. A, Kennedy's 21st Regt., La. Infty. 

Bonnabel Guards, La. Militia, Co. 4th Regt., French Brig. 

Boon's Battery, 2nd Field Batty., attached to Miles Legion. 

Bossier Cavalry, Capt. Thos. W. Fuller's Ind. Co., La. Co. C 
6th La. Cav., attached to an Ala. Cav. Regt., also Co. B, Wimber- 
ley's Squadron, La. Cavalry. 

Bossier Volunteers, Co. D, 9th La. Infty. 

Bossier Rangers Vols., Co. A, 1st Battn., State Grds. Cav., 
also called 18th Battn. 

Boyles, Com B, 30th Regt., La. Infty. 

Bragg Cadets, Co. D, 26th La. Infty. 

Bragg's Escort, Guy Dreux's Ind. Co., La. Cavalry. 

Bragg's Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Frank Dalf ers, Ind. 

Briarfield Rebels, Capt. A. J. McNeils Co., La. Cavalry. 

Brice Guards* La. Militia, Capt. Ewell Eastman, Ind. 

Bridges Battery, Capt. Wm, M. Bridges, attached as Co. D 
to 18th S. C. Battn. Arty., Ind. 

Briarfield Rebels, La. Cavalry, Capt. A. J. McNiel, as Co. D, 
6th or 61st. Battn. Ark. Cavalry, later Co. C. 24th Ark. Cav., Ind. 

Brown's Battery, Hannibal, Lt. Arty. Co. B, Consolidated 
with Guiber's Mo. Battery, Ind. 

Brown's Co., La. Mil., Capt. A. F. Brown, Ind. 

Brush Valley Guards, Co. H, 9th La. Infty. 

Burnside Guards, La. Militia, Capt. Edward Conery Ind. 

Burton's Co., in LaFourche Regt., La. Militia. 

Butler's Revengers, Co. A, Miles Legion, La. Cav. 

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Louisiana Confederate Military Records 888 

Caddo Confederates, Co. I, 27th La. Infty. 

Caddo Co., La. Militia, Capt. Wm. H. Bayliss. 

Caddo Fencibles, Co. C, 16th La. Cav. 

Caddo Lake Boys, Co. F, 17th La. Inf. 

Caddo Light Horse, Co. A, 6th Regt. La. Cav. 

Caddo Militia. Capt. B. R. Bickham's Co., 4th. Regt French 
Brig., La. Mil. Vols. 

Caddo Pioneers, Co. — , 27th La. Inf. 

Caddo Rifles, Co. A» 1st La. Inf. 

Caddo 10th and 19th La. Inf. 

Cage's Battn., La. Cav., with Miss. Cav. and 14th Battn., 
Confed. Cav. 

Calcasieu Rangers, Capt. W. E. Ivey's Co., La. Cav. 

Calcasieu Volunteers, Co. A, King's Spec. Battn. La. Inf. 

Calcasieu Tigers, Co. B, King's Spec. Battn., La. Inf. 

Calcasieu Invincibles, Co. C, King's Spec. Battn., La. Inf. 

Calcasieu Guards, Co. D. King's Spec. Battn., La. Inf. 

Caldwell Avengers, Co. B, 31st Regt., La. Inf. 

Caldwell Guards, Co. I, 3rd La. Inf., Jeff Davis Battn. Regt., 
La. Mil. 

Caldwell Invincibles, Co. A, after G. 12th La. Inf. 

Caldwell Rangers, Caldwell Regt., La. Mil. 

Calhoun Guards, Co. B, 6th La. Inf., also Continental Regt., 
La. Mil. Vols., Independent Co. 

Calhoun Guards, Co. C, Co. G. Irish Regt., La. Mil. 

Campbell Guards, Co. A, 5th Battn., La. Inf. 

Cameron's Battery (Art.) attached to 15th Battn., Cav. and 
afterwards to Harrison 3rd La. Regt., Cav. 4th La. Fid. Art. 

Campaigners La. Vols., 26th Co., La. Mil. 

Canfield's Co., Mtd., Rangers, La. Mil., Ind. 

Cannon Guards, Co. D, 11th La. Inf. 

Cannon Guards, Co. — » Jackson Regt., La. Inf., formerly 
Kennedy's 5th Battn. Inf. 

Capitol Guards, La. Mil., (served in E. Baton Rouge Regt 
La. Mil., Ind.) 

Capt. Volunteers, La. Mil (served in E. Baton Rouge Regt., 
La. ML, Ind. 

Camouche's Co. of Cavalry, attached to Brent's Cavalry Bri* 

Carondelet Invincibles, Co. I, 5th La. Inf. 

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884 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Carondelet Lt. Inf., La. Mil., served as Co. , in Beaure- 
gard Regt. 

Carroll Dragoons, Capt. Lott's Co., La. Cav., Ind. Co. 

Carroll Guards, Co. L. 11th La. Inf., after Co. E, 20th La. Inf. 

Carroll Rebels, Co. D, 29th (4th Battn.), La. Inf. 

CarroUton Reserve Grds., La. Mil Co. D, Jeff Davis Battn. 
and Regt. La. Mil. Vols. 

Carter Minute Men, La. Militia (Independent). 

Carter Rangers, La. Militia (Independent). 

Caruthers Sharp Shooters, also called Copland Caruthers Shp. 
Shooters, Co. D, 9th Battn., La. Infantry. 

Castor Guards, Co. I, 16th La. Infty. 

Catahoula Avengers, Co. E, 31st Regt., La. Infantry. 

Catahoula Battalion, Co. D, 31«t La. Infty. 

Catahoula Fensibles, Co. D, 31st La. Infty. 

Catahoula Greys, Co. G. 11th La. Infty. 

Catahoula Guerillas, Co. D, Wheat's Battn., La. Infty., after- 
wards Co. 1, 15th La. Regt. Infty. (2nd Polish Brigade.) 

Catahoula Rebels, Co. C, 17th La. Infty. 

Cazadores Espanoles, Col. Nevil Soule's Regt., La. Militia. 

Cazadores Espanoles, 1st Co. Co. A, Cazadores Regt., La. Mil. 

Cazadores Espanoles, 2nd Company B, Cazadores Regt., La. 
Mil, Espanoles. 

Cazadores Espanoles, 3rd Co. C, Cazadores Regt., La Mil., 

Cazadores Espanoles^ 4th Co. D, Cazadores Regt., La. Mil. 

Cazadores of St. Bernard, Co. G, Cazadores Regt., Es. La. Mil. 

Cazadores Espanoles Regt., Family Caz. Esp., Battn. La. Mil. 

Chalmette Rifle Guards, Co. B, 5th La. Infty. 

Chalmette Guards, La. Militia, Co. B. Fire Battn. and Regt., 
La. Militia. 

Chalmette Battalion, La. Volunteers. 

Chasseurs a Pied, alias Foot Rifles, also called St. Paul's Foot 
Rifles, 7th Battn., La. Infty. 

Chasseurs a Pied, La. Militia, Company B, Johnson's Spl. 

Chasseurs D'Orleans, Foreign Brigade, La. Legion 1st Regt. 
Chas. a Pied, Co. D, Cassd., Regt. Espan. La. Mil., also Jackson 
Rifle Battn., also Ind. Co. 

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Louisiana Confederate Military Records 385 

Chasseurs St. Jacques, Co. E, 18th La. Infty. 

Chasseurs of Jefferson Co., A. Cav. La. Mil., served in 9th 
Regt., 1st Brigade, La. Militia. 

Chasseurs de la Fayette, La. Mil. Capt. Hy. H, Michelet, Ind. 

Chasseurs de la Fourche, La. Militia, Capt. Chas. Lesseps, 

Chasseurs de la Card, La. Mil., served 5th, Co. 6th: Regt. Eu- 
ropean Brig. 

Chasseurs St. Michel, La. Mil., served in St. James Regt., Ind. 

Chasseurs du Teche (Cav.) La. Mil. Capt. Chas. Tertron, La. 

Cheyneville Blues, Co. H, 8th La. Infty. (Sometimes Rifles.) 

City Defenders, Co. D., Jackson Rifle Battn. La. Mil. 

City Fire Guards, La. Mil., Co. D, Orleans Fire Battn. Regt. 
La. Mil. 

City Guards La. Mil. attached to National Gd. Regt., Capt. 
Wm. T. Dean, Ind. 

Citizen Guards, Co. B. La. Mil. Continental Regt. La. Mil. 

Citizen Guards, Co. A, Continental Regt., La. Mil. Vols. 

Claiborne Greys, Co. D. 19tK La. Infty. 

Claiborne Guards, Co. F. 2nd La. Infty. 

Claiborne Invincibles, Co. D. 28th La. Infty. 

Claiborne Invincibles, Co. K. 17th La. Infty. 

Claiborne Rangers, Capt. T. M. Scott's Co. 12th La. Infty. 

Claiborne Rebels La. Mil., Capt. Allen C. Hill, Ind. 

Claiborne Volunteers, Co. C. 19th La. Infty. 

Clay Guards Co. B. Beauregard Battn. & Regt. La. Mil. 

Clinton Guards La. Mil. Capt. J. J. Smith, Ind. 

Clinton Rebels La. Mil. Capt. A. S. Norwood, Ind. 

Clouett Guards Co. K. Chalmette Regt, La. Mil. Vols. 

Coach Makers Guards Co. in Bragg's Battn. La. Militia. 

Cochran's Co. Cavalry-Macon Cav. La. Mil. 

Cole's Rangers, See Mounted Rangers, La, 

Columbia Fire Guards Co. H. Orleans Fire Battn. Regt. La. 

Colyell Guards Co. G. 9th La. Infty. 

Compagne, due Voliguere, Co. 2nd Regt. French Vols. 2nd 
Regt. Europ. Brig. La. Mil. 

Concordia Rifles, Co. F. 13th La. Infty. Sulakowski's after- 
wards 14th La. 

Digitized by 


386 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Confidence Fire Guards La. Mil. Co. F. Orleans Fire Battn. 
Regt. La. Mil. 

Confederate Defenders, Harrison's Battn. Cavalry La. 

Confederate Defenders, Co. A. 31st La. Infty. 

Confederate Guards, (Response Battn.) also called Confed. 
Grd. Battn. 12th Battn. La. Infty. Consolidated with Cres. Regt. 

Confederate Guards, Co. H. 18th La. Infty. 

Confederate Guards, Artillery Capt. C. C. Lewis' Co. La. Mil. 

Confederate Guards Regt. La. Mil. Vols. 

Confederate Guards Reserve La. Mil. Ind. Co. Capt. Jas. J. 

Confederate Guards Response Battn. also called Confed. Grd. 
Batt. La. Vols. 

Confederate States Rangers, Co. K. 10th La. Infty. 

Confederate States Zouaves, Maj. St. Leon Dupeir's La. 
Infty. Battn. 

Continental Guards Co. A. 7th La. Infty. 

Continental Cadets, La. Mil. A company in Cont. Regt. La. 
Mil. Vol. 

Continental Guards, Co. F. 11th La. Inf. 

Continental Guards, Co. B. Continental Regt. La. Mil. Vols. 

Continental Regiment, Col. George Clark's Regt. La. Mil. 

Cooper's Guards La. Mil. Capt. Jno. C. Weaver. 

Coppen's 1st Battn., C. S. Zouaves La. (La. Zouaves). 

Corner Co. of Avoyelles La. Mil. 1st. Lt. V. Gremillion, Ind. 

Cornil Guards La. Mil. Capt. David Pearson. 

Cotton Plant Guards La. Mil. Co. E. La. Irish Regt. La. Mil. 

Cotton Plant Guards, Co. B. La. Mil. Co. E. Irish Regt. La. 

Cotton Guards La. Mil. Co. E. Jeff Davis Battn. & Regt. 

Court Glee Grds. La. Mil. (also C. G. Minute Men) Capt. 
Dupre Guidry, Ind. 

Coushatta Rifles La. Mil. R. H. Simmons Capt. Ind. 

Creole Rebels La. Mil. Capt. J. J. Ducoye Co. C. Johnson's 
Spl. Battn. 

Creole Chargers, Co. G, 1st La. Cav. 

Creole Guards, Co. A. 8th La. Inf. served also E. Baton Rouge, 
Regt. La. Mil. Ind, 

Creole Rebels La. Mil. Vols. Capt. E. P. Doremus Ind. 

Crescent Artillery, Capt. T. H. Button's Co. A. La. Arty. 

Crescent Artillery La. Mil. Capt. H. F. Wade, Ind. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 887 

Crescent Blues, Capt. John Knight's Co. Crescent Regt La. 
Vols. Co. E, Beauregard Battn. Regt. 24th Regt. La. Inf. also 
Co. G, Sumpter Regt. 

Crescent Cadets, Co. L Sumpter Regt. La. Mil. 

Crescent City Blues, Co. B, or C, La. Foot Rifles of Battn. 
Co. K, 16th La. Regt. Inf. 

Crescent Blues Co. A. La. Mil. Capt. Bartlett, 8rd Co. H, 
Cres. Regt. 

Crescent City Guards, Co. A, 5th La. Inf. 

Crescent City Guards, Co. B, after A. Crescent Regt. La. Vols. 

Crescent City Guards, Co. C. after F. Cres. Regt. La. Vols. 

Crescent City Native Guards, Co. in 1st Regt Native Grds. 
La. Mill. 

Crescent City Rifles, Co. B, 1st Battn., La. Inf., also Co. B, 
24th La. Regt. Inf., Crescent Regt. 

Crescent Rifles, Co. B. 1st Battn. La. Inf. 

Crescent Rifles, (Co. B.) Co. E, 7th La. Inf. 

Crescent Rifles, (Co. C.) Co. H, 7th La. Inf. 

Crescent Rifles, (Co. D.) after B. Crescent Regt. La. Vols. 

Crescent Regiment, also called 24th & Cons. Cres. Regt. La. 
Inf. orig. Mil. 

Crescent Reserve La. Mil. Capt. J. A. Halls Co. Orleans Fire 
Battn. La. Mil. 

Crescent Zouaves, Capt. W. F. Fry, Ind. 

Crockett Southrons, Capt. E. Currie's unattached Co. La. 

Cronan Rebels La. Militia Capt. C. Evans. 

Crosgrove Guards La. Mil. Co. B. Lewis Battn. Regt. La. Mil. 

Cuban Rifles Co. Co. C. Jackson Rifle Battn. La. Mil. 

Dardennis Guards, Co. I. 30th Regt. La. Infty. 

Dauer's Artillery Capt. J. F. Bauer's Co. La. Arty. Mil. 

Davenport Rebels, Co. G. 15th La. Infty. 

Davidson Guards La. Mil. (Alexandria, La.) Capt. Jno. W. 
Addison, Ind. 

Davidson Guards La. Mil. Capt. W. E. M. Linfield Ind. 

Davis Guards Co. H. 1st. La. 'Infty. 

Davis Guards Cavalry Co. G. Miles Legion La. 

Davidson Guards, Co. D, (Beauregard Regt. & Battn. La. Mil. 
also 2nd Co. I, Cres. Regt.) 

De Clouet's Guards, Co. D. Guard Battn. Regt. La. Mil. 

De Feriet Guards Co. I. Chalmette Regt. La. Mil. Vols. 

Digitized by 


388 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Defenders Falkner's Cav., Co. D, 3rd ((Harrison's) La. 
Regt., Cav. form Co.. I, Pargoud's Regt. 

De Gournay's, afterwards Kean's La. Battery, 12th Batty., 
served as Co. E, 1st Battn., La. Zouaves. 

Delhi Guards, La. Mil., Capt. D. Pinkney Smith, Ind. 

Delta Rifles, La. Mil., Capt. Hugh Breen, Ind. 

Delta Rangers, Co. C, Wheat's Battn., La. Xnfty. 

Delta Rifles, Co. F, 4th La. Inf ty. 

Denson's Cavalry Co., Capt. W. B. Denson, Caddo Light 

Derbigny Guards, Co. B, 10th La. Infty. 

De Soto Blue, Co. F, 9th Infty. Regt. 

De Soto Creoles, Co. K, 3rd Co. K, Cos. H, K, 19th Regt La. 

De Soto Rangers, De Soto Regt. La. Mil. 

De Soto Rifles, Co. D, 6th La. Infty. 

Dillon Guards, Co. A, 11th La. Infty. 

Dixie Guards, La. Militia, Capt. F. H. Pugh, Ind. 

Dixie Rifles, Co. — , 27th La. Infty. 

Donaldsonville Arty., Capt. V. Maurin's Co., La. Arty., at- 
tached as Co. B, to Garnett's afterwards Richardson's Battn., 
also known as Landry's Battery. 

Donaldsonville Arty., Co. B, also called Cannoneers of Do- 

Dubloon Guards, La. Mil., Capt. W. H. Waters, Ind. 

Downsville Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Jas. B. Landers, Ind. 

Dreux's Co., La. Cav., served as escort to Gen. Beauregard, 
Bragg, Hood and Johnson. 

Dragoons of E. Baton Rouge, La. Mil., Capt. H. M. Pierce, 

Ducote Guards, La. Mil., Capt. J. J. Ducote, Ind. 

Duncan Lt. Infty., La. Mil., Capt. Paulin Grandpere. 

Duverge Guards, La. Mil. Co. Algiers Battn., La. Mil., also 
Co. E, 9th Regt., 1st Brig., La. Mil. 

East Feliciana Guards, Co. A, 16th La. Inf., also East Feli- 
ciana Regt., La. Mil. 

Eclaireurs of Jefferson, La. Mil., Ind. 

Edmonston's (J) Independent Battn., La. Mil. Vols. 

Ed. Moore Rangers, Co. A, 1st La. Cav. 

Edward Thompson Guards, Beauregard Battn. Regt., Ind. 

Edward Guards, Co. B, 16th La. Inf. 

Digitized by 


Louisic^na Confederate J^iUtary Records 389 

Eight Battn., La. Arty., W. E, Pinkney, Lt. CoL 

Elam Guards, Co. B, 29th La. Inf., also called 28th (Thomas). 

Emerald Guards, Co. E, 9th La. Inf. 

Emmet Guards, Co. D, 1st Inf., Nelligan's Regt., Co. in La. 
Irish Eegt., La. Mil. 

Empire Rangers, Co. D, 13th after 14th La. Inf., after Co. B, 
15th La. Inf. 

Engineers Co., 1st Regt. French Vol., La. Mil., 1st Regt,, Eu- 
ropean Brig. 

Esplanade Guards, Co. F, Orleans Guards Bttn. Regt., La. 

European Brig., Louisiana Militia. 

Evergreen Invincibles, Co. H, 16th La. Inf. 

Family Home Guards, La. Mil. Ind., Capt. J. T. Degrais. 

Farmer Guards, Co. C, after D, 12th La. Inf. 

Farmer Rangers, Co. H, after K, 12th La. Inf. 

Fassman Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Jas. Powers Ind. 

Fausse River Guards, Co. in King's Spl. Battn., La. Inf. 

Feilleux, (after Daner's) Batty. La. Mil., attached to Battn. 

Fenners Battery, La. Arty. 

First Special Battn., La. Vols., also Wheat's Special Battn. 

Florence Guards, Co. F, 20th La. Inf. 

Floyd Guards, Co. G, 2nd La. Inf. 

Forstall Guards, Co. I, 10th La. Inf. 

France- American Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Simon Richard, Ind. 

Franklin Guards, La. Mil., Capt. H. B. Smith, Ind. 

Franklin Life Guards, Co. C, 4th Battn., La. Infty. 

Franklin Sharp Shooters, Co. E, 9th Regt., La. Infty. Vols. 

Franklin Rangers, Co. B, 1st Battn., La. State Grds., Cav., 
also known as 13th Battn. 

Franko Rifles, Co. B, 13th, afterwards 14th, La. Infty. 

Frappe d'Abord, Co. H, Chalmette Regt., La. Mil. Vols. 

Frellson Guards, Capt. Geo. R. Canadine's Co., La. Mil. Ind. 

French Co. of St. James, La. Mil., Ind. Co. 

French Capitol Guards of East Baton Rouge, also called 
"Rough" Ind. 

French Co. of Berwick Bay, Capt. A, Cardillas, Ind. 

French Co. of Donaldsonville, La. Mil., Capt. C. J. Boulanger, 

French Co. of Iberville, La. Mil., Capt. Pierre Artaux, Ind. 

Digitized by 


390 The Louisiana Historical Qtmrterly 

French Co. of Lafayette, La. Militia, Capt. B. Cazaandebat» 

French Co. of Pointe Coupee, La. Militia, Capt. A. Vemeuil, 

French Co. of St. Martin, La. Mil. Capt. Pierre Cabrol, Ind. 

French Co. of St. Mary, La. Mil., Capt. Frederick Robin, 

French Co. of Thibodaux, La. Mil., Capt. Jean Pierre, Ind. 

French Legion of Terrebonne, La. Militia, Capt. Jean Besse, 

French Volunteers, La. Mil., Capt. A. Gauthier, served in St. 
Martin Regt., Ind. 

Fulton Guards, Co. in Bragg's Battn., La. Militia, Co. H, 
Leeds' Guard Regt., La. Mil., Vols. 

Furman Rangers, Co. E, 2nd La. Cavalry. 

Fusiliers, No. 1, Capt. Henerich Gerdes, Ind. 

Garnett Rangers, Capt. Jas. Borges Co., La. Mil. 

Garibaldi Guards, Co. F, Cazadores Regt. Espanoles, La. Mil. 

Gentilly Rangers, Co. G, Chalmette Regt., La. Vols. 

German Guards. * 

German Guards, La. Militia, Capt. Roemer, Ind. 

German Yagers (or Joegers) , Co. I, 22nd Regt., La. Infty. 

Gleen Guards, Co. F, 1st Regt., 1st Brig., and in Beauregard 
Rgt., La. Mil., Beauregard Battn. 

Galdden Rifles, Co. H, 13th La. Infty. 

Gobers Regt., La. Cav., called 5th Regt., part 9th and 18th 
Battn., La. Infty. 

Gorday's & Comay's Battery, St. Mary Cannoneers, 1st La. 
Field Battery. 

Governor's Guard, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Cos., 13th 

Government Mechanic Guards, Co. E, Lewis Battn., Regt. La. 

Greenleaf 's Co., La. Cav., See Orleans Light Horse. 

Greenwood Guards, Co. I, 2nd La. Inf. 

Gretna Fire Guards, La. Mil., Co. G, La. Fire Battn. and Regt. 
La. Mil. 

Grivot Artillery, Capt. J. T. Holmes' Co., La. Arty. 

Grivot Fancy Guards, Co. E, 2eth La. Inf. 

Grivot Guards, Co. E, 1st Battn., La. Inf. 

Grivot Guards (Co. B), Co. H, 26th La. Inf. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 391 

Grivot Guards (Co. C), Co. C, after Co. F, 26th La. Inf. 

Grivot Partisan Rangers, Indep. Co., La. Cav. 

Grivot Rifles, Co. E, 15th La. Regt. Inf., Vol. (2nd Polish 

Gross Tete Creoles, Co. C, 15th La. Inf. 

Gross Tete Flying Artillery, 6th Batty., La. Arty. 

Gross Tete Rangers, La. Mil., Capt. C. W. Keep, Ind. 

Gulf Guards, Co. E, Chalmette Regt., La. Vols. 

Guards de St. Bernard, Co. D, 12th Regt., 2nd Brig., 1st Div., 
La. Mil. 

Hannibal Light Artillery, Co. Brown's Battery. 

Hansa Guards, Cos. A, B. C, D, E, and F, 4th Regt., European 
Brig., La. Mil., Vols. 

Hardee Rifles, La. Mil., Capt. Jos. Andrews, Ind. 

Hawkins Guards, Co. D, after K, 10th La. Inf. 

Hayes Champions, Co. D, 18th La. Inf. 

Heation Guards, Co. F, Chalmette Regt., La. 

Henry Clay Guards, Capt. A. B. Seeger's Co., 9th Regt., 1st 

Brig., 1st Div., La. Mil., also Algiers Battn., La. Mil. 

Henry Hart Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Chas. L. Aitkens. 

Henry Marshall Guards, Co. F, 19th La. Inf. 

Herrick's Co., Co. E, 20th Regt., La. Inf., also known as Or- 
leans Blues. 

Hewitt Guards, Co. C, 10th La. Inf. 

Hickens Guards, See Noel Rangers, New Co. B, 20th Regt., 
La. Inf. 

Hickory Guards, Co. A, Capt. Jno. Cavanaugh, Ind. 

Hildreth Guards, La. Mil, Capt. Geo. R. Wells, Ind. 

Hinston Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Thos. J. Lester, Ind. 

Hollins Rangers, La. Mil. of De Soto Parish, Ind. 

Home Guards, La. Mil. of De Soto Parish, Ind. 

Home Guards, 1st Brig., 1st Div., La. Mil., Capt. Wm. W. 
Wilson, Ind. 

Holmes Light Guards, Co. C, 11th La. Infty. 

Holmes Battery, attached to 1st La. Cavalry. 

Home Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Jas. 0. Fuqua, Ind. 

Homestead Rangers, La. MIL, Capt. Jas. W. Martin, Ind. 

Hope Guards, La. Militia, served in Assumption Regt., Capt. 
Wm. M. Marks, Ind. 

Howard Guards, Co. — , Chalmette Regt., La. Vols. 

Huckins Guards, Co. B, 20th La. Infty. 

Digitized by 


392 the Louistarui Historical Quarterly 

Hunter Rifles, Co. A, 4th La. Infty. 

Hunter Guards, La, Mil., Capt. Levy, Ind. 

Hunter Rifles, Co. B, 4th La. Infty. 

Hussars of the Teche, Co. D, 10th Battn., La. Infty. (Former- 
ly Cav. Co.) 

Iberville Greys, Co. A, 3rd La. Infty. 

Iberville Guards, Co. D, 27th La. Infty. 

Iberville Rangers, Co. D, 2nd La. Cavalry. 

Iberville Regt., La. Militia, 6th Brig. 

Independent Capitol Arty, of East Baton Rouge, La. Mil., 
Capt. J. N. Foose, Ind. 

Independent Co., La. Cavalry, Co. A, 2nd La. Cavalry. 

Independent Guards, La. Militia (Served in St, Mary's Regt., 
Capt. J. Edmond, Ind.) 

Independent Guards of East Baton Rouge, Mil., Capt. Jos. C. 
Charotte, Ind. 

Independent Orleans Arty., also called Orleans Arty., Capt 
Paul F. De Gournay's Co., La. Artillery. 

Independent Rangers of East Baton Rouge, La. Mil., Capt, 
David H. Penny, Ind. 

Independent Rangers, Co. E, afterwards Co. B, 12th La. 

Independent Rangers (Cav. Squadron) of Iberville, La. Mil., 
1st Co. 

Irish Brigade, (Co. A) Co. I, 6th La. Infty. 

Irish Brigade, (Co. B) Co. F, 6th La. Infty. 

Irish Volunteers, Co. F, 7th La. Infty. 

Irish Volunteers, Capt. L. Doyle's Co., La. Irish Regt., La. 

Irving Guards, Co. , La. 

Isle of Wright Blues. 

Jackson Arty, of Algiers, Capt. Jno. Mitchell's Co., La. Arty, 

Jackson Arty., Co. A of Algiers, La. Mi., served in 9th Regt., 
1st Brig., La. Militia. 

Jackson Arty., Co. B of Algiers, La. Mil., served in 9th Regt., 
1st Brig., La. Mil. 

Jackson Avengers, La. Mil., Capt. Gus. Lauve, Ind. 

Jackson Battalion, 5th Battn., La. Inf., merged into 21st La, 
Inf., Jackson Regt. 

Jackson Greys, Co. K, 9th La. In^., Vols. 

Jackson Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Louis Gastinel, Ind. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 393 

Jackson Home Guards, La. Mil., Capt, W. M. Hughes, Ind. 

Jackson Mounted Rifles, La, Mil, Capt. G. A. Scott, Ind. 

Jackson Rangers, La. Mil., Ca^pt. W. F. Clark, Ind. 

Jackson Rifles, La. Mil., Capt. H. L. Pond, Ind. 

Jackson Regiment, 21st La. Inf., formerly Kennedy Battn., 
oth Battn., La. Inf. 

Jackson Regt., La. Mil., served in 1st Brig., 5th Div., and in 
11th Brig., La. Mil. 

Jackson Sharp Shooters, Co. D, afterwards C, 12th La. Inf. 

Jackson Sharp Shooters, Lieut. A. C. Simonon's Co. 

Jackson Railroad Rifles, Co. in Continental Regt., La. Mil. 

Jackson Volunteers, Co. F, 28th La. Inf. 

Jackson Volunteers, Co. C, 1st Battn. of Inf. (Terrell's). 

James Jackson Guards, La. Mil., attached to Beauregard 
Regt., Ind. 

Jameson Light Guards, Co. K, 20th La. Inf. 

Jeff Davis Regiment, Col. Alex Smith's Regt., La. Mil. 

Jeff Davis Lt. Guards, Capt. Jos. C. Daymon, Ind. 

Jefferson Arty., Co. A, La. Mil., Capt. A. B. Carbonnet. 

Jefferson Blues, Continental Regt., La. Mil., Vols. 

Jefferson Cadets, Co. B, formerly Co. C, after A, 14th Regt., 
La. Inf. 

Jefferson Chasseurs, La. Mil., Lt. J. H. Harvey, Ind. 

Jefferson Confederate Guards, Co. A, La. Mil., Co. B,Jeff 
Davis, Battn., after Regt. 

Jefferson Confederate Guards, Co. B, La. Mil., Co. C, Jeff 
Davis Battn., after Regt. 

Jefferson Fire Guards, La. Mil., Co. C, La. Fire Battn. and 
Regt., La. Mil. 

Jefferson Guards, La. Mil., Cart. Fred. Wallbrecht, Ind. 

Jefferson Light Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Thos. La. Maxwell, 

Jefferson Mounted Guards, Capt. Guy Dreux's Ind. Co. Cav. 
after Gen. Beauregard's Body Guard Dreux's Co. Cav. 

Jefferson Mounted Guards, Capt. Millandon's Co. B, Cav. La. 

Jefferson Rangers, Co. A, Jeff Davis Battn. after Regt. La. 
Mil. Vol. 

Jefferson Rifles, La. Mil., Capt. Jules G. Dreux, Ind. 

Johnston Rifles; La. Mil., Co. B, La. Irish Regt., La. Mil. 

Keachi Warriors, Co. E, afterwards I, 19th La. Infty. 

Digitized by 


394 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Kean's Battery, La. Arty, (De Gournay's Battery). 

Kelso's Battery, La. Mil., Capt. Jno. Kelso, Ind. 

Kennedy Battn., 5th Battn. La. Infty., which afterwards be- 
came Jackson's Regt., 21st La. Infty. 

Kenner Guards, La. Mil., Capt. John B. Humphreys, Ind. 

Kirks Ferry Rangers, La. Mil., called Cav. Co. of Catahoula» 

Kirk Guards, Capt. R. S. Kirke's Co., Continental Regt., La. 
Mil. Vols. 

King's Spec. Battn., La. Infty. 

Knights of the Border, Capt. C. Buchanan's Co., La. Vols. 
Koscinski, Guards- Whann Rifle Grds., Co. E, Kennedy's 21st 
Regt., La. Infty. 

Labauve Guards, Co. B, 11th La. Infty. 

Lecompte Guards, La. Militia and Co. A, 2nd Regt., La. Infty. 

Lafayette Light Artillery, Capt. Joseph Lewis, Jr.'s Co., La. 

Lafayette Guards, Co. in Bragg's Battn., La. Militia. 

Lafayette Minute Men, La. Militia, served in Lafayette Regt. 

Lafayette Prairie Boys, Co. A, 26th La. Infty. 

Lafayette Co. No. 2, La. Mil., Capt. Gustave Lehmann. 

Lafayette Rangers, La. Mil., served as Co. G, 9th Regt., 1st 
Brig., Ind. 

Lafayette Regt., La. Militia, served in 1st Brig., 4th Div. and 
9th Brig. 

Lafayette Rifle Cadets, Co. E, 13th La. Infty. 

Lafayette Volunteers, Co. A, Fire Battn., afterwards Regt. 
La. Militia. 

Lafourche Creoles, Co. G, 18th La. Infty. 

Lafourche Dragoons, La. Mil., R. G. Darden, Ind. 

Lafourche Guards, Co. E, 4th La. Infty. 

Lafourche Hunters, La. Militia, Capt. Chas. Lesseps, Jr., Ind. 

Lake Borne Co., Spanish Regt. ♦ 

Lake Providence Cadets, Co. C, 4th La. Infty. 

Lamonthe's Battery, La. Mil., Co. 4, attached to La. Legion, 
Ind. Co. in Lafourche Regt., La. Militia. 

Landrum Guards, Co. E, 17th La. Infty. 

Landry's Battery, Donaldsonville Arty. 

Landry's Guards, La. Mil., also called St. Landry Grds, Ind. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 396 

Laughlin Light Guards, Capt. T. 0. Laughlin's Co., La. Mil., 
9th Co. in La. Irish Regt., La. Mil. 

Le Bisque Battery, Co. B, 12th Battn., La. Arty., afterwards 
Castellanos Battery and De Goumay's Hy. Arty. 

Lecompte Guards, Co. G, 2nd La. Infty. 

Lee's Co., Capt. J. C. Lee, La. Militia, Ind. 

Lee Guards, La. Mil, served as Co. D, 9th Regt., 1st Brig., 

Leeds Guards, Battn. Regt. La. Mil., Col. Chas. J. Leeds, La* 
Mil., Vols. 

Leeds Light Horse, also called N. 0. Lt. Horse, Orleans Lt* 
Horse Cav. 

Le Gardeur's Battery. 

Leefe Guards, La. Mil., served in Beauregard Regt., Ind^ 

Lemmon Guards, Co. C, 9-17 Battn,, La. Infty. 
Lewis Guards Co., 30th La. Infty., Co. H, Sumpter Regt., La. Mil. 
and Lewis Battn. Regt., La. Mil. 

Lewis Guards, La. Militia, called Lewis Rifles, Capt. H. 
Meister, Ind. 

Linton Light Infty., La. Militia, Capt. P. Grandpere, Ind. 

Lipscomb Co., Co. E, 20th La. Infty. 

Livingston Home Guards, Co. Local Defense Troops, La. 

Livaudaus Guards, Co. E, Confed. Grds. Regt., La. Mil., Vols. 

Livingstons Rifles, Co. K, 27th La. Infty. 

Local Defense, Capt. Saml. J. Norwood's Co., La. Cavalry. 

Lockport Home Guards or Lockport Guards, La. Militia, 

Long Rifles, Capt. J. Carcou's Co., La. Vols., Co. C, Caza- 
dores Esp. Regt., La. Mil. 

Lonsdale Guards, Co. Jackson's Regt., La. Infty. 

Louisiana Defenders, Battn. La. Mil., Vols., also called 7th 
Battn. La. Vol. 

Louisiana Dragoons, Co. K, 1st La. Cavalry. 

Louisiana Guard Defenders, 3rd Co., La. Defenders Battn., 
La. Mil. 

Louisiana Fire Battn., afterwards Regt. La. Militia. 

Louisiana Grays, Transfd. to Monroe Rifles Co. K, 5th La. 

Louisiana Guard Artillery, Capt. Camille E. Girardey's Co., 
also borne as Green's Co., La. Arty., orig. Co. B, 1st La. Infty. 

Louisiana Guards, 1st Battn., La. Mil., East Baton RougiS. 

Digitized by 


3tf6 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Louisiana Guards, Co. A, of East Baton Rouge Co., La. GcL, 
1st Battn., La. Militia. 

Louisiana Guards, Co. E, of East Baton Rouge Co., La. Gd., 
1st Battn., La. Militia. 

Louisiana Guards, Co. A, 1st Battn., La. Infty. 

Louisiana Guards, Co. B, 1st La. Infty. 

Louisiana Guards, Co. C, 1st La. Infty., Co. C, 1st Battn. Inf. 

Louisiana Guards, Co. D, Crescent Regt., La. Infty., Co. C, 
24th Regt., La. Infty. Regt. 

Louisiana Irish Regt., Col. P. B. O'Brien's Regt., La. Mil. 

Louisiana Independent Rangers, La. Militia. 

Louisiana Guards of Livingston Parish, Capt. J. J. Cotton, 
La. Mil. 

Louisiana All Hazards, La. Mil., Capt. A. L. Guxman, Ind. 

Louisiana Legion Regt., Infty., La. Mil. 

Louisiana Mounted Rangers, also called Cole's Rangers, Ind. 
Co., La. Cav. 

Louisiana Musketeers Co., 29th La. Infty. 

Louisiana Native Grds. Co., 1st Regt. Native Grds., La. Mil. 

Louisiana Rebels, Co. F, 10th La. Infty. 

Louisiana Sappers and Miners, Independent Co., La. Vols. 

Louisiana Scouts, Capt. W. G. Mullen's Independent Co. of 
La. Vols. 

Louisiana State Guards, Co. A, 30th Regt., La. Infty., also 
Co. I, Confed. Grds. Regt, La. Mil. Vols. 

Louisiana State Grds., Co. B, 30th Regt., La. Infty., also Co. 
K, Confed. Regt., La. Mil., Vols. 

Louisiana State Guards, Co. G, 5th La. Infty. 

J ouisiana Swairp Rifles, Co. E, 10th La. Infty. 

I ou'siana Tigers- Wheat's Battn., La. Infty. 

Louisiana Turcos, Co. H, 15th La. Infty. (Supposed to be but 
not found as such.) 

Louisiana Turcos, La. Vols., Capt. Hy. Pardeaux, Ind. 

Lo'r'siana Volunteers, Co. B, 20th La. Infty. See also Reich- 
ards Battn. 

Louisiana Zouaves, Battn. Lp. Infty. 

Lovell Light Infty., also 1 1. Arty., Co. I, Leeds Grds., Battn. 
Regt., La. Mil., Vols. 

Lovell Rifles, Co. B, 26th La. Infty. 

Lovell Guards, La. Mil., Co. F, Leeds Grds., Battn. Regt., La. 
Mil., Vols. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 897 

Lovell Scouts, Independent Co., La. Cav., Capt. David Ker. 

Macon Cavalry, La., Assigned to Starkes' 28th Cav., became 
part 24th Ark. Cav. 

Madison Infantry, Co. A, 4th Battn., La. Inf ty. 

Madison Cavalry, La. Militia, Capt. Sam Anderson, Ind. 

Madison Light Artillery, Original Madison's Arty. (Madison 
Tipperarys afterwards Capt. Geo. V. Moody's Co., La. Arty.) 

Madison Parish Infantry Co., La. 

Madison Tipperary's, See Madison Lt. Arty., La. Moody's 
Battery served in Alexander's and Hugers Battn., Reserve Arty. 

Magazine Guards, Co. G, 6th Regt., 1st Brig., 1st Div. 

Maddox's Regt., Reserve Corps, Col. W. A. Maddox. 

Madison Co., La. Mil., Capt. W. P. Peck, Ind. 

Madison Dragoons, La. Mil., Capt. C. H. Moore, Ind. 

Magnolia Guards, Continental Regt., La. Mil., Vols. 

Magee Guards, Continental Regt., also Co. E, Lewis Battn., 
Regt. La. Mil. 

Magnolia Guards, Capt. F. Roder's Co., La. Mil. See Co. D, 
Lewis Battn., Regt. La. Mil. 

Magnolia Guards, La. Mil., Capt. R. M. Montgomery, Ind. 

Manassas Rifles, Co. A, Chalmette Regt., La. Inf. 

Mandeville Rifles, La. Mil., Capt. Chas. Morgan. 

Mann Rifles, Co. I, 20th La. Inf. 

Mansura Guards, La. Mil., Co. E, Johnson's Special Battn., 
La. Mil. 

Marion Artillery, Lieut. Jean Descant's Co., La. Arty, attach- 
ed to European Brig. 

Marksville Guards, La. Mil., Co. D, Johnson's Spl. Battn., La. 

Marion Guards, Co. D, 21st after 22d, La. Inf. 

Marion Rangers, La. Mil., Co. C, Cres. Regt. called 24th Regt. 

Marion Infantry, Indep. Co., La. Inf. on provost duty in Dis- 
trict of Mobile. 

Marion Rangers, Co. B, L6. Cav. Regt. 

Martin's Scouts, Co. K, 6th Regt. Cav. 

McCall Guards, Co. A, 23rd La. Inf. 

McCall Guards, Co. B, 23d La. Inf., after Co. A, 22d Rgt., La. 


McClure Guards, Co. G, 13th after Co. D, 14th La. Inf. 

McCown Regiment, 21st Regt., La. Inf. 

McCree Rangers, Co. in Bragg's Battn., La. Mil. 

Digitized by 


398 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

McCuUoch Rangers, Ind. Co., La. Inf., after Co. A, 59th Va. 

McClellan Guards, Co. D, Kennedy's 21st Regt., La. Inf. 

McLaurin Invincibles, Co. K, 27th La. Inf. 

McRea Rangers, Co. F, Beauregard Battn. & Regt. La. Mil. 

Mc Waters Rangers, Capt. J. A. Mc Waters, Co. La. Cav* 

Mechanic Guards, La. Mil., Co. G, Leeds Guard Battn. Regt. 
La. Mil. Vols. 

Mechanic Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Lanbach's Co., La. Mil. 

Mercer Guards, Co. E, 6th La. Inf. 

Meschacebe Native Guards, La. Mil., Co. 1st Regt. Native 
Grds. La. Mil. 

Miles Artillery, Capt. Claude Gibson's Co., La. Arty., At- 
tached to Miles Legion, Co. K, 22d and 21st La. Inf. Dents Batty, 
formerly Robertson's C. S. Arty. 

Miles Legion, La. Vols., Wm. R. Miles, Col. 

Miliken Bend Guards, Co. E, 9th La. Infty. Vols. 

Minden Blues, Co. G, 8th La. Infty. 

Minden Rangers, La. Cavalry served as Co. A, Wimberley's 
or Webb's Squadron, La. Cavalry. 

Milneburg Fire Guards, La. Militia, Co. G, Orleans Battn., 
Regt. La. Mil. 

Mississippi Native Guards, Co. in 1st Regt. Native Grds., La. 

Mississippi Rifles No. 2, La. Mil., Capt. Fred Camerden. 

Monroe Guard, Co. K, 5th La. Infty. 

Monroe Rifles, Co. K, 5th La. Infty. 

Montgomery Cadets, La. Militia, Capt. Yolkmann, Ind. 

Montgomery Guards, Co. B, La. Mil., Capt. J. B. Cunning- 
ham, Ind. 

Montgomery Guards, Co. F, 1st La. Infty. 

Montgomery Guards, Co. C, Co. H, Irish Regt., La. Militia. 

Monticello Rifles, Co. H, 3rd La. Infty. 

Moody's Battery, Madison Light Arty. 

Moore Guards, Co. K, 2nd La. Infty. 

Moore Fencibles, Co. A, 9th La. Infty. 

Moreau Grds., La. Militia, Capt. L. Moreau's Co., La. Mil. 

Morehouse Avengers Co., 25th La. Infty. , 

Morehouse Rangers, La. Cavalry, Capt. Danl. Newton. 

Morehouse Fencibles, Co. E, 3rd La. Infty. 

Morehouse Guards, Co. B, 3rd Battn., 3rd La. Infty. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 3^9 

Morehouse Southrons, Co. H, 17th La. Infty. 

Morehouse Stars, Co. F; 12th La. Infty. 

Morrisbn^s Battn., La. Infty, Co. K, 31st Regt. La. Infty. 

Mounted Engineers, Capt. C. W. Randolph's Co., La. Vols. 
' Mounted Rangers, Co. A, 16th Battn., La. Infty., Confed. 
Grds. Response Battn. 

Mounted Wild Cats, also called Independent Mtd. Wild Cats, 
Indep. Co., La. Cavalry, Capt. Miller's Co. 

Mullen's Co., Scouts or Shp. Shooters, Ind. 

Murdock Guards, Co. C, 1st Battn., La. State Grds. Cav., 
also called 13th Battn. 

Mustang Rangers, La. Militia, Capt. A. J. Johnson, Ind. 

McPherson's Battery Orleans Howitzers, La. Militia. 

Natchez Rifles Co., 4th Battn., La. Infty. 

Natchitoches Rebels, Co. C, 18th La. Infty. 

Natchitoches Cavalry Co., La. Mil., Capt. R. S. Rogers, Ind. 

Natchitoches Mounted Guards, La. Mil., Capt. L. L. McLau- 
ren, Ind. 

National Guards, Co. B, 4th La. Inf. 

National Guards (of St. James), La. Mil., Capt. F. E. Lapa- 
ginier, Ind. 

New Basin Guards, Co. H, 3rd Regt., 3rd Brig., La. Mil., 
also in 4th Regt., 1st Brig., 1st Div., La. Mil. 

New Orleans Home Guards, La. Mil., served in N. 0. Rifle 
Regt., Ind. 

New Orleans Reserve Guards, Capt. L. Davigneaud's Co., La. 

New River Rangers, Cav. 3rd Co. Cav. Battn., Miles Legion, 
La. Vols., Ogdens Battn., La. Cav., also called 9th Regt. 

Nixon Rifles, Co. H, 13th after Co. E, 14th La. Inf. 

Noel Rangers, Co. B, 15th Battn., La. Inf., also New Co. B, 
20th La. Regt. Inf. 

North Louisiana Cadets, Co. F, after A, 12th La. Inf. 

Norton Guards, Co. K, 13th La. Inf. 

Norwood's Co., Capt. J. J., La. Mil., Jeff Davis Rangers, Ind. 

O'Brien's Light Infty., Co. in La. Irish Regt., La. Mil. 

Ogden's Cavalry Battalion, Battn. La. Cav., also called 9th 

Old Dominion Guards, Co. D, Wheat's Battn., La. Inf. 

Opelousas Guards, Co. F, 8th La. Inf. 

Opelousas Greys, La. Mil., Lt. C. H. Hamilton. 

Digitized by 


^00 The Louisiana Historieal Quarterly 

Opelousas Volunteers, Co. K^ IStJi ^. I^f . 

Opelousas Rifles, Capt Ja3. B. Israel, Ind; 

Orleans Artillery, La. Mil., Served as Reserve Co. Orleans 
Batto. Art. 

Orleans Battn. Arty., Indep. Battn., La. Arty., 12 months ser- 
vice; after attached to 23d La. Inf. as Cos. A, B, C, D, and Co. B, 
2nd Co. 28d Regt. Inf. 

Orleans Blues, Co. H, 10th La. Inf. 

Orleans Blues, Co. A, Herrick's Co., Co. E, 20th La. Inf. 

Orleans Blues, Co. B, Co. G, 20th La. Inf. 

Orleans Cadets, Co. E, 5th La. Inf. (Perhaps Co. B.), also 
Co. C, Beauregard Battn. and Regt., La. Mil. 

Orleans Cadets, Co. F, 1st Battn., La. Inf. 

Orleans Cadets, Capt. R. L. Dolbear, 1st Co. L, Cres. Regt. 

Orleans Cadets, Co. I, 18th La. Inf. 

Orleans Cadets, Capt. J. E. Blanchard's Co., La. Legion also 
Co. in Sumpter Regt. 

Orleans Cadets, Co. D, La. Mil., Co. B, Beauregard Battn. 
and Regt. 

Orleans Cadets, Co. E, Co. H, 24th La. Inf. (Crescent Regt.) 

Orleans Guard, Co. E, after Co. F, 30th La. Inf. 

Orleans Claiborne Guards, Chaffins Co., also called Rough 
and Ready Rangers, Co. 1st Spec. Battn., La. Infty. 

Orleans Fencibles, La. Militia, 8th Co. La. Irish Regt. La. 

Orleans Fire Battn., afterwards Regt. La. Militia. 

Orleans Good Will Fire Guards, La. Mil., Co. A, Orleans Fire 
Battn. Regt. La. Mil. 

Orleans Guard Artillery, Independent Battn., La. Arty. 

Orleans Guard Battn., Regt. La. Mil. 

Orleans Guard Batteries, Cos. A, and B, Orleans Grd., Arty. 

Orleans Guards, Co. A, 1st Battn., La. Infty. 

Orleans Guards, 13th Battn., La. Infty. 

Orleans Guards, Co. — , La. 3rd — . 

Orleans Guards, Co. F, 30th La. Infty. 

Orleans Guards Regiment, Col. Numa Augustin's Regt., La. 

Orleans Guides, Cav. Co., Battn. La. Legion, La. Mil., Vols. 

Orleans Howitzers, Capt. S. J. McPherson's Co., La. Mil. 

Orleans Light Guards (Co. B), Co. G, 1st La. Infty. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 401 

Orleans Light Guards (Co. G), Go. K, 1st L». Infty. 

Orleans Light Guards (Go. D), Go. F, 1st La. Infty. 

Orleans Light Guards (Go. A), afterwards Go. D, 1st La. 

Orleans Light Horse Gavalry, also called N. 0. Lt. Horse and 
Leeds' Lt. Horse Ind. Go., La. Gav., Greenleaf 's Go., La. Gavalry. 

Orleans Rangers, Go. G, 10th La. Infty. 

Orleans Racachas, La. Mil., Gapt. J. A. Fremaux, Ind. 

Orleans Rifle Rangers Go. H, 6th La. Infty. 

Orleans Rifle Guards, La. Mil., Gapt. J. A. Jacques, Ind. 

Orleans Rifles, Go. H, 6th La. Infty. 

Orleans Skirmishers, Go. I, 10th La. Infty. 

Orleans Southrons, Go. F, 5th La. Infty. 

Orleans Tirailleurs, Go. K, 23rd La. Infty. 

Ouachita Blues, Go. B, 4th Battn., La. Infty. 

Ouachita Guerillers Arty., Gapt. J. Frank Lacy. 

Ouachita Rangers, La. Mil., Gapt. Frank Pargoud, Ind. 

Ouachita Southrons, Go. A, 17th La. Infty. 

Packwood Guards, Go. K, 4th La. Infty., Vols. 
Panola Guards, afterwards Beauregard Rangers. Go. D, Gres. 
Regt. La. Infty. 

Pargoud Vols., La. Mil., Gapt. A. A. Lipscomb. 

Payne's Go., La. Mil., Gapt. A. H. Payne, Ind. 

Peale Rangers, Gapt. Hugh Breen, Ind. 

Pelican Battery, 5th Battery La. 

Pelican Greys, Go. A, 2nd La. Inf. 

Pelican Guards, Go. B, Jackson's Rifle Inf. Battn., La. Mil.» 
Vols., also Gapt. O'Hara Go., Ind. 

Pelican Guards of Iberville, La. Mil. 

Pelican Rangers, No. 1, Go. H, 3rd La. Inf. 

Pelican Rangers, No. 2, Go. D, 3rd La. Inf. 

Pelican Regiment, 7th La. Inf. 

Pelican Rifles, Go. A, 2nd La. Inf. 

Pelican Rifles, Go. K, 3rd La. Inf. 

Pemberton Rangers, Go. G, 6th La. Inf. 
Perret Guards, Go. H, 5th La. Inf. 

Perseverance Life Guards, Gapt. S. B. Gollins, Ind. 
Perseverance Guards, Go. A, 21st, after 22nd, La. Inf., also 
Lewis Battn. Regt. La. Mil. 

Perseverance Fire Guards, Go. E, Orleans, Battn. La. Mil. 
Perseverance Guards, Go. G, after 22nd La. Inf. 

Digitized by 


402 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Perseverance Native Guards, Co. 1st Regt., Native Grds., 
La, Mil. 

Phoenix Co., Co. K, 8th La. Inf. 

Phoenix Fire Guards, La. Mil., Co. C, Orleans Fire Battn. 
Regt. La. Mil 

Phoenix Guards, Capt. Jos. S. Martin, Ind. 

Phoenix Rifles, Co. D, 17th La. Inf. 

Pickett Guards, Co. — , 26th La. Inf. 

Pickett Rifles, Capt. John B. Vinet's Co., La. Vols. 

Pickwick Froby's Co., Beauregard Battn. and Regt. La. Mil. 

Pikemen of '61, La. Mil., Co. D, La. Fire Regt., La. Mil. 

Pilie Rifles, Capt. Danl. Vancourt, Ind. 

Pine Grove Guards, Capt. Thos. L. East, Ind. 

Pine woods Sharpshooters, Co. G, 16th La. Inf. 

Pinkney Battn., 8th Battn., La. Heavy Arty. 

Pioneers, Capt. C. D. J. Williams, Ind. 

Pioneer Guards, No. 1, La. Mil., Co. D, La. Fire Battn. and 
Regt., La. Mil. 

Plain Rangers, served in E. Baton Rouge Regt., Ind. 

Plain Store Rangers, Cav. 1st Co. Cav. Battn., Miles Legion, 
La. Ogden's Battn. Cav. 

Plaisance Guards, served in St. Landry Regt., Ind. 

Planche Guards, La. Militia, Capt. J. B. Noble's Co. 

Planche Rebels, Co. — , Chalmette Regt., La. Infty. * 

Planters Life Guards, Co. A. Cav. Battn., Miles Legion Vols. 

Planters Guards, Capt. Jos. Torras, Ind. 

Plaquemine Guards, served in 13th Regt, 2nd Brig., 1st Div., 
La. Mil. 

Plaquemine Mtd. Rangers, La. Militia, Indep. La. Cavalry. 

Plutus Guards, Co.. in Bragg's Battn., La. Mil., also Co. in 
Jeff. Davis, Battn., and Rellgt., La. Militia. 

Pochelee Rangers, Co. H, Jeff Davis Battn. and Regt., La. 

Pointe Coupee Artillery, Battn., La. Arty. 

Pointe Coupee Creoles, La. Mil., Co. D, Pt. Coupee Regt. 

Pointe Coupee Light Infty., Capt. L. H. Troudeau, Ind. 

Pointe Coupee Volunteers, Co. H, 11th La. Infty. 

Police Guard, Co. "A", Co. — , Beauregard Regt. 

Police Guard, Co. "B", Co. D, Beauregard Regt. 

Polish Brigade, 13th, 14th and 15th La. Infty. 

Polish Regiment, First 14th Sulakowski's La. Infty. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 403 

Pontooniers, La. Mil., with Orleans Battn. Arty. 

Port Hudson Guards, Capt. Randolph Cheek, Ind. 

Prairie Rangers, Co. A, 1st Battn. La. Infty, afterwards 
Todd's Independent Co. Cav. La. Vols. 

Prairie Boys, Co. A, 26th La. Infty. 

Protection Rifles, Capt. John Purcell's Co., La. Mil., Co. F, 
Confed. Grd. Regt., La. Militia and Co. in 7th Regt., 1st Brig.» 
1st Div., La. Militia. 

Protection Guards, La. Militia, called also Protection Grds. 

Prudhomme Guards, Co. G, 26th La. Infty. 

Quitman Guards, served in St. Landry Regt. Ind. 

Quitman Rangers, Co. H, 14th La. Infty. 

Racachas No. 1, La. Militia, Capt. Aug. Abadie, Ind. 

RacachaSvNo. 2, La. Mil., Ed. Duncan, Ind. 

Raceland Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Chas. Thibodeaux, Ind. 

Radetzky Rifle Battery (Arty.) Co. Jackson's Regt. La. Infty, 
5th Battn. 

Rapides Co., La. Mil., Capt. A. S. Smith, Ind. 

Rapides Rangers, Co. D, 1st La. Cavalry. 

Rapides Invincibles, Co. I, 8th La. Infty. 

Rapides Rangers, Lt. T. McFeelejr's Co., Ind. 

Rapides Terribles, Co. C, 27th La. Inf. 

Rapides Tigers, Co. E, 16th La. Inf. 

Rawson Guards, La. Mil., as Co. C, St. Charles Regt. and 
Chasseurs a pied Regt., Ind. 

Red River Rangers, Attached to 15th Battn., La. Cav. 

Red River Rebels, Co. B, 1st La. Inf. 

Red River Scouts, Battn., La. Cav. 

Red River Sharpshooters, Battn. Steamboat Men La. Vols. 

Red Stick Rebels, La, Mil. Capt. Hy. R. Graham, Ind. 

Reichard Rifles, Co. C, 20th La. Inf., also Reichards Battn. 

Reinhardt Guards, La. Mil., served as Co. E, Beauregard 

Rescue Rangers, La. Vol., Lt. Etienne Velten, Ind. 

Reserve Cazadores, Co. 5, 5th Regt. European Brig., La. Mil., 
Vol., La. Legion. 

Rescue Guards, Co. B, Leeds Guards Regt., La. Mil. Vols., also 
Co. C. 

Reichard's Battn. Inf., also called 6th and Lovell Battn., and 
Orleans Rifle Battn. 

Richard Musketeers, La. Vols., Capt. C. de la Bretonne, Ind. 

Digitized by 


404 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Rifle Blues, La. Mil., in 13th Regt^ 2nd Brig, 1st Div. 

Robert's Absalon, C Co., La. Mil., Jeff Davis Rangers, also 
Jeff Davis Light Horse. 

Robina Greys, Co. B, 19th La. Inf. 

Rosalie Guard, Co. I, 11th La. Infty. 

Rough & Ready Guards, La. Mil., Capt. E. W. Blake, Ind. 

Rouquillo Guards, La. Mil. in 13th Regt. 2nd Brig. 1st Div. 
La. Mil. 

Rousseau Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Jas. R. Curell, Ind. 

Robinson's Co. Horse Arty., 1st Regt. La. Cav. formerly 
Holmes Howitzer Batty. 

Robert Brown Guards, La. MiU Co. D, Lewis Battn., Regt. 
La. Mil. 

Ruggles Guards, Co. G, Cres. Regt., La. Inf. 24th Regt., La. 

Sabine Rifles, Capt. McArthurs Co., Co. A, 6th Regt. La. Inf. 

Sabine Rebels, Co. B, 17th La. Inf. 

Sabine Independents, Co. in Sumpter Regt., La. Mil. 

Sabine Independents, La. Mil., Co. I, Jeff Davis Battn. and 
Regt. La. Mil. Vol. 

Saddler's Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Mooney's Co. 

Slavonian Rifles, 1st Co., Co. E, Cazadores Esp. Regt., La. 


Slavonian Rifles, 2nd Co. La. Mil., Cazadores Esp. Regt., La. 

Sarfield Rifle Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Jas. O'Hara. 
Sandy Creek Rangers, La. Mil., served in 1st Battn., La. 
Grds. and in E. Baton Rouge Regt. 

Sappers and Miners, Co. H, 27th La. Infty. 

Sanitary Regiment (Louisiana). 

Sarsfield Rangers, Co. B, La. Mil., Capt. P. Murray, Ind. 

Sarsf ield Rangers, Co. C, 7th La. Infty. 

Sarsfield Southrons, Co. — , La. 

Savany Guards, Co. 1st Regt., Native Grds., La. Militia. 

Scandinavian Guards, Co. A, Chalmette Regt., La. Infty. 

Scott Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Thos. J. Hightower, Ind. Co. 

Scotch Rifle Guards, Co. H, 21st La. Infty. 

Scotch Rifle Guards, Co. C, afterwards 22nd La. Infty. 

Scotch Rifles, Scotch Rifle Guards. 

Screwmen's Guard, Co. A, 22nd La. Infty. 

Screwmen's Guards, Co. B, 22nd La. Infty. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 406 

Screwmen's Guard, also called Moore Feneibles, Co. A, 9th 
La. Inf ty. 

Second Battery, La. Hvy. Arty., Capt. Geo. liOgan. 

Sedentaire Battery, Capt. Jules Benit's Co., La. Arty. 

Sappers and Miners, Sureg's Co., La. Militia. 

Shamrock Guards, Co. — , 4th {legt., French Brig., La. Mil. 

Sharpshooters La. Legion, La. Mil., Capt. Jos. Christian, Ind. 

Shelley Battalion, 11th Battn., La. Infty. 

Shepherd Guard, Co. 10th La. Infty. 

Shreveport Greys, Co. D, 1st Battn., La. Infty., 1st La. Regt. 

Shreveport Rangers, Co. F, 3rd La. Infty. 

Shreveport Rebels, Co. K, 11th La. Infty. 

Shreveport Rifles, 1st La. Infty. 

Siege Battery, Capt. E. T. King's Co., La. Arty. 

Simmons Stars, Co. C, 17th La. Infty. 

Skipwith Guards, Co. A, 27th La. Infty. 

Slavonian Rifles, Co. — , Infty. Battn., La. Legion, La. Vols. 

Slocomb Rifles, Co. C, 1st La. Vols., Infty. 

Shamrock Guards, Co. B, La. Militia, Co. F, La. Irish Regt., 
La. Militia. 

Smith Artillery, Capt. John Roy's Co., La. Arty. 

Southern Cadets, La. Mil., Capt. F. Cornish, Ind. 

Southern Celts, Co. A, 13th La. Infty. 

Southern Guards, Co. A, 6th La. Regt., Infty., Vol. 

Southern Guards of Union Parish, La. Mil., Ind. 

Southei'n Guards of Rapides Parish, La. Mil., Ind. 

Southern Protection Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Wm. Lampton. 

Southern Rifles La. Militia, Capt. J. A. Jacques, Ind. 

Southern Sentinels, Co. I, afterwards Co. H, 12th La. Infty. 
also company in Bragg's Battn., La. Mil., also Continental Regt. 
La. Militia, Vols. 

Spanish Teradors, Co. — , Infty, Battn. La. Legion, La. Vols. 

Spanish Independents, La. Militia in 9th Regt., 1st Brig. La. 

Sparrow Cadets, Co. I, 3l8t La. Infty. 

Sparta Guards, Co. E, 27th La. Infty. 

Sparta Cavalry, La. Mil., Capt. D. H. Sheppard, Ind. 

Special Battn., La. Vols., also called 1st Spec. Battn., La. 
Vols., (Wheat's). 

Digitized by 


406 Thie Louisiwm HistdVicdl QudH^Hy ' 

Spearsville Co.; La. Mil., sei^ved in UhiOii Regt. Lai Militia, 

Spencer Rifles, Co. H, 27th La. Infty. 

Squires Siege Train, Capt. M. T. Squires, Ind. 

St. Bernard Mounted Rifles, Capt; Jules Delery's Indep. Co., 
also called St. Bernard Horse Rifles. 

St. Ceran Rifles, Co. D, 15th Regt., La. Infty., Vols. 

St. Helena Rebels, Co. F, 16th La. Infty. 

St. Helena Rebels, Co. F, 4th La. Infty. 

St. Helena Rebels, Co. F, 15th La. Infty. 

St. James Guards, Lecoul's Co., 30th La. Infty. 

St. James Rifles, Co. A, 18th La. Infty. 

St. John Baptist Guards Co., in Sumpter Regt., La. Militia. 

St. Landry Light Guard, Co. C, 6th La. Infty. 

St. Landry's Grays, La. Mil., served in St. Landry Regt. 

St. Landry Volunteers, Co. B, 18th La. Infty. 

St. Landry Home Guards, La. Militia, served in St. Landry 

St. Martin's Rangers, Capt. E. W. Fuller's Co., King's Bat- 
tery, La. Vols. 

St. Martin's Parish Rangers, Co. G, 10th Battn., La. Infty. 

St. Mary's Cannoneers, Capt. E. 0. Cornay's Co., La. Arty, 
form Co. F, 4th La. Infty., 1st Field Battery Gordys and Cornays. 

St. Mary Volunteers, Co. G, 13th La. Inf. 

St. Paul Battn. Foot Rifles, 7th Battn., La. Inf. 

St. Charles Foot Rifles, in Chasseurs a Pied Regt. 

St. Charles Light Arty., La. Mil., Capt. Chas. Davenport, Ind. 

St. Charles Mtd. Minute Men, La. Mil. in St. Chas. Regt. 

St. Charles Horse Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Samuel McCutch- 

St. John Baptist Rifles, also Carbiners of St. I., La. Mil. 

St. John Baptiste Guards, La. Mil., Capt. N. Loque, Ind. 

St. John Baptiste Native Guards, La. Mil., Capt. J. R. For- 

St. Landry Partisan Rangers, La. Mil., served in St, Landry 

St. Martinville Rangers, La. Mil., Capt. A. De Blanc, Ind. 

St. Mary Greys, La. Mil., Capt. J. Baker, Ind. 

St. Tammany Arty., La. Mil., Capt. J. A. Turner, Ind. 

St. Tammany Greys, La. Mil., Capt. C. Crosby, Ind. 

St. John Baptist Reserve Guards, La. Mil. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Canfederaie Military Records 407 

Stafford Guards, also called Screwman Guards, Co. B, 9th La. 

Stanley Guards, Co$. A, H, 20th La. Inf. 

Stanley Guards, €o. B, La: Mil., Co. in Pt. Coiipee Regl., La. 
Mil. > , . - - 

Stars of Equality; Co. E, 19th La. Inft. * * 

Star Guards, La. Mil.,* Capt. Sattil. C. Scott, Ind. 

State Guard Battery, Capt. D. E. Grove, Ind. ' 

Smith Guards, La. Mil, Capt. T. 0. Laughlin, Ind. 

Stephen Guards, La. Mil., Co. A, La. Irish R6gt., La. Mil. 

Stephen Guards, Co. G, 30th Regrt., La. Inf. 

Stephen Guards, Co. A, 20th La.. Inf., also Reichards Battn. 

Stewarts Legion, 9-17 Battn., Co. A, 9th Battn. 

Stuart Cavalry, 2nd Co. Cav. Battn., Miles Legion, La. Vols. 

Sully Knights, La. Mil., Capt. D. W. Magill, Ind. 

Summer Grove Cav., La. Mil., in Caddo Regt., 3rd Regt., 2nd 
Brig., Ind. 

Sumpter Regt. Cres. Cadets, Co. I, Sumpter Regt., La. Mil. 

Sumter Greys, Co. A, also Ind. Co., Capt. D. Ma3rpay. 

Sumter Greys, Co. A, 30th La. Inf., Co. D, Sumpter Regt. 

Sumter Greys, Co. B, 30th La. Inf., Co. E, Sumter Regt. 

Sumter Greys, Co. B, 30th La. Inf., Co. E, Sumpter Regt. 

Sumter Greys, Co. B, also Ind. Co., Capt. Hy. J. Beebe. 

Sumter Guards, Co. D, 8th La. Infty. 

Sumpter Guards, Co. K, 24th La. Regt., Crescent Regt. 

Sumter Rebels, Co. I, Crescent Legion, Regt. La. Infty. 

Sumpter Rifles, Continental Regt., La. Mil., Vols., also 3 Co. 
I, Crescent Regt. 

Sumter Regiment, 30th La. Infty. 

Sumpter Regiment, La. Militia, Organized Dec. 17, 1861. 

Sumpter Turner Guards, Co. C, Beauregard Regt.; also Con- 
tinental Regt., La. Mil., Vols., also Lewis Battn. 

. Swiss Guards, attached to 3rd Regt. European Brig., La. 

Taylor Guards, Co. E, Kings Special Battn., La. Infty. 

Taylor Guards, Capt. T. C. Calvitts, Co. D, Miles Legion. 

Teche Guards, La. Mil., (St. Mary Regt.), Capt. Wm. F. Har- 
leigh, Ind. 

Tensas Rangers, also known as Tensas Cavalry attached to 
15th Battn., La. Cavalry and Harrison's 3rd Regt., La. Cavali^y. 

Tensas Rifles, Co. D, 6th La. Infty. ' 

Digitized by 


408 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Terrebonne Regiment, La. Mil. 

Terrebonne Rifles, La. Militia, Capt. V. H. Rightor, Ind. 

Third District Fire Rangers, La. Mil., Co. B, Orleans Fire 
Battn., La. Mil. 

Thibodaux's Co., Lafourche Regt., La. Militia, Ind 

Thibodaux Reserves, La. Mil., Capt. V. Richard, Ind. 

Thomas' Battn., La. Inf ty., merged into 30th Regt; 

Thomas' Guards, La. Militia, Capt. V. Cormier, Ind. 

Tiger Bayou Rifles, temporarily attached to Ist La. Infty., 
properly served as Co. I, 13th, afterwards 14th La. Infty. 

Tickfaw Home Guards, La. Militia, Capt. H. H. Swassy, Ind. 

'Tiger Rifles, See Tiger Bayou Rifles. 

Tiger Battallion, Wheat's Battn., La. Infty. 

Tiger Rifles, Co. E, or Co. B, Wheat's Spec. Battn., La. Infty. 

Tiger Rifles, Co. B, La. Mil., Capt. E. Eastman, Ind. 

Tirailleur's D'Orleans, Co. I, 10th La. Infty., Co. K, Orleans 
Grds. Battn. Regt., afterwards Co. B, 22nd La. Infty. 

Tiradoes Espanoles, Co. Cazadores Espanoles Regt., La. MiL 

Tirailleurs, Francais, Co. — , Infty. Battn., La. Legion, also 
Ind. Co. 

Tracy Guards, La. Mil., Capt. J. S. Lallande, Ind. 

Trevot Guards, La. Mil., Capt. Jos. A. Gagne, Ind. 

Todd's Independent Co., La. Cavalry, Prairie Rangers, La. 

Trailleurs of St. James, Co. K, 30th Regt., La. Inf. 

Titterton's Guards, Qteros Co., Orleans Battn., Regt. La. Mil. 

Tunica Co., Attached to West Feliciana Regt., La. Mil. 

Tunica Guards, La. Mil., also called Tunica Vols, and Bayou 
Tunica Grds. 

Tunica Guards, Co. D, 20th La. Inf., also Reichards Battn. 

Turcos Native Guards, Co. 1st Regt., Native Grds., La. Mil. 

Twelfth Battn., Heavy Arty., B. F. De Gournay, Maj. 

Twiggs Guards, Co. £, Cres. Regt., La. Inf., 24th Regt. La. 



Twiggs 1 1. Guards, Capt. F. A. Rasch, Ind. 

Twiggs Rifles, Co. A, Co. G, 23rd La. Inf. 

Twiggs Rifles, Co. B, Co, H, 23rd La. Inf. 

Twiggs Rifles, Capt. B. Griffin's, Co. Local Defense Troops, 

Union Rebels, La. Mil., Capt. S. H. Griffin, Ind. 
Union Rifles, Co. C, 3rd La. Inf. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 409 

Union & Sabine Rifles, Co. A, 6th La. Inf. 

United Guards, also called United Rifles, La. Mil., Capt. F. T. 
Nicholls, Ind. 

Valcourt Aime Guards, Co. A, after D, 30th La. Inf. 

Valentine Lt. Guards, 2nd Co. K, 20th La. Inf. (Disbanded.) 

Vance Guards, Co. A, 19th La. Inf. 

Ventress Lige Guards, Capt. Jos. Goldman's Co., Local De- 
fense Troops La., 20th La. Inf. 

Ventress Protectors, La. Mil., Capt. Cedroski, Ind. 

Vernon Guards, Co. E, 2nd La. Inf. 

Vetran Francais, 5th Co., 6th Regt., European Brig., La. 
Mil. Vol. 

Vermilion Guards, La. Mil., Capt. L. Cedrowski, Ind. 

Vermilion Troops, La. Mil., Capt. D. O'Bryan, Ind. 

Vidette Guards, La. Mil., Capt. D. H. Dyar, Ind. 

Vienna Rifles, Co. C, 2nd La. Inf. 

Vigilant Fire Guards, La. Mil., Co. I, Orleans Fire Battn., 
Regt. La. Mil. 

Violet Guards, Co. K, 6th La. Inf. 

Virginia Blues, Co. L, 7th La. Inf. 

Virginia Guards, Co. D, 7th La. Inf. 

Volunteer Co., La. Mil., Assumption Parish, Capt. P. C. Kyle, 

Volunteer Guards, La. Mil., Co. E, Fire Battn. and Regt. La. 

Voltigeurs D'Orleans, 1st Co. Jackson's Infty. Battn., La. 
Mil., Vols. 

Voorhies Guards, Co. H, Miles Legion. 

Voltigues de Lafayette, 7th Co., 1st Regt., French Brig., La. 
Mil. (French Legion.) 

Walker Guards, Co. A, Wheat's Spec. Battn., La. Infty. 

Walker Roughs, Co. D, 16th La. Infty., sometimes called 

Wallace Guards, La. Militia, Co. — , Beauregard Battn., Capt. 
Wm. J. Locke, Ind. 

V/ashington Artillery, La. Artillery Battn. 

Washington Cadets, Co. — , Algiers Battn., La. Mil., called 
Terry Battn. 

Washington Battn., St. Paul's Foot Rifles, La. Vols. 

Washington Cavalry, St. Landry, La. Mil., Capt. Jno. Reid, 

Digitized by 


410 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Washington Guards, Co. H, Cres. Regt., La. Infty. 

Washington Lt. Guards, La. Mil., Gapt. Towell, Ind. 

Washington Light Infantry, Co. E, 21st, afterwards 22nd La. 

Washington Jackson Guards, La. Mil, Co. F, Fire Battn. and 
Regt., La. Militia. 

Washington Rifles, Co. I, 9th La. Infty. . 

Washington Rifles, La. Militia, Capt. Ehiquecron, Ind. 

Waterman Guards, Continental Regt. 

Watson's Battery, Capt. D, Beltzhbover's Co., La. Arty. 

Weatherly Battn., La. Infty. 

Webb's Co., La. Cavalry, served as Co. E, 18th Tenn. Cav. 

Webb's (formerly Wimberly's Squadron, La. Cav., also called 
1st Squadron, La. Cavalry.) 

West Baton Rouge Tirailleurs, Co. H, 4th La. Infty. 

West Baton Rouge Cadets, Co. D, West Baton Rouge, Regt. 

West Feliciana Guards, La. Mil. Capt. Wm. H. Barrow, Ind. 

West Feliciana Home Scouts, Capt. Dan R. Gorham's Inde- 
pendent Co., La. Vols. 

West Feliciana Rifles, Co. E, 4th La. Infty. . 

Westbrook Guards, Co. E, 11th La. Infty. 

Wheat Life Guards, Co. E, Wheat's Spec. Battn., La, Infty. 

White Battery, La. Militia, Capt. Alex. White, Ind. 

Wild Cat Cavalry, also called Mtd. Wild Cats, Capt. 0. P. 
Miller's Co., La. Cav. 

Willow Bayou Rifles, La. Militia, Capt. E. L. Heriot, Ind. 

Wilson Rangers, Capt. W. H. Berthelot's Co., La. Vols. 

William Goodrich Guards, La. Mil., Co. C, Lewis Battn. 
and Regt., La. Militia. 

Wimberly's Squadron, La. Cav., also called 1st Squadron, La. 
Cav., Webb's Squadron. 

Winn Rebels, Co. F, 27th La. Infty. 

Winn Reserves, La. Vols., Co. A, 1st Battn., Infty., Terrells. 

Winn Rifles, Co. C, 3rd La. Infty., (Sometimes Guards.) 

Winn Rifles, La. Militia, Winn Regt., Capt. Wm. B. Stovall, 

Wing's Co., Co. — , Kennedy's 21st La. Regt., Infty. 

Wood Rangers, La. Mil., Capt. Wm. H. Waters, Ind. 

Wood's Co., Cavalry La. Militia, Capt. Thos. A. Woods Ind. 

Yellow Jacket Battn., 10th Battn., La. Partisan Rangers, con- 
solidated with 18th La. Infty. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 411 

Yankee Pelters, La. Mil., Capt. or 1st Battn., La. Infiy., Co. 
B, L. C. Calloway, Capt., Ind. 

Young Greys, Capt. Terrell's La. Vols. 

Young Creole Native Guards, Co. in 1st Regt., Native Grds., 
La. Mil. 

Zouave Battn., La. Vols. 

Zouaves and Chasseurs Battn., La. Vols. 



LOUISIANA, 1861-1865. 

Alphabetically Arranged. 

Alabama Bayou, Sept. 20, 1864. 

Alexander's Creek, Oct. 5, 1864. 

Alexandria, May 6, 1863; April 26, May 13, 1864. 

Amite River, June 27-29, July 24, 1862; April 12-17, Sept 
24-29, 1863; July 25, Oct. 2-8, Dec. 12, 1864; March 18-26-29, 

Amite River and Jackson Railroad, March 21-29, May 9-18, 

Ashton, May 1, 1864. 

Ashwood Landing, May 1-4, 1864. 

Atchafalaya, July 21, Oct. 5, 1864. 

Atchafalaya and Bayou Plaquemine, Feb. 12-28, X863. 

Atchafalaya River, Feb. 10-14, June 4, Sept. 8-9-20, 1863; 
May 30, June 5, Aug. 25, Sept. 17, Dec. 16-19, 1864. 

Avoyelles Prairie, May 15, 1864. 

Barres Landing, April 21, May 21-26, Oct. 21-22, 1863. 

Baton Rouge, La., Jan. 10, 1861, June 7-9, July 27, Aug. 5-20- 
21, Dec. 17-28, 1862; May 12-13, 1863; Sept. 19, 1863; Marx^h 3-8, 
April 15, May 3, July 3-25-29- 1864; May 8-22, 1865. 

Bayou Goula, June 19, 1863; Jan. 24, Feb. 14-18, March 23-24, 
April 21-22, May 9, 1865. 

Bayou Sara, Aug. 10-23, 1862; Nov. 9, 1863; Sept. 6-7, Oct 
3-6, 1864. 

Bayou Sara Road, May 18-19, 1863. 

Bayou Tunica, Nov. 8, 1863. 

Beauregard Fort, May 10, Sept. 4, 1863. 

Digitized by 


412 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Belle Prairie, May 16, 1864. 
Belle River, Oct. 22-24, 1864. 
Benton's Ferry, July 25, 1864. 

Berwick, May 21-26, June 1- 1863; April 26, May 1, 1864. 
Berwick Bay (Steamer), Feb. 3, 1863. 
Berwick Bay, Nov. 1-6, 1862 ; June 23, 1863. 
Bethel Place, April 12, 13, 1863. 
Bisland Fort, April 12, 13, 1863; April 12, 1864. 
Black Bayou, March 19, 1864; May 4, 1865. 
Black River, Feb. 10-14, May 5, 1863. 
Blair's Landing, April 12-13, 1864. 
Boeuf Bayou, April 22-29-30, 1863; May 7, 1864. 
Boeuf Bayou Crossing, June 24, 1863. 
Bonf uca Bayou, Nov. 21, 1862 ; Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 1865. 
Bonnet Carre, Oct. 19, 1862. 
Borgne, Lake, Nov. 22, 1863. 
Bourbeau Bayou, Nov. 2-3, 1865. 
Boutte Station, Sept. 5, 1862. 
Boyce's Bridge, May 14, 1863. 
Boyce's Plantation, May 6, 1864. 

Brashear City, June 21-23, July 22, 1863; Feb. 3-6, 1864; 
April 30, May 12, 1865. 

Breaux Bridge, April 17-21, 1863. 

Brown's Plantation, May 11, 1865. 

Bruin Lake, (See Choctaw Bayou). 

Bullitt's Bayou, Aug. 24, Sept. 14, 1864. 

Butte-a-la-Rose, April 20, 1863. 

Buzzard's Prairie, Nov. 2-3, 1863. 

Calcasieu Pass, May 6-10, 1864. 

Caledonia, May 10, 1864. 

Campti, Mar. 26, April 4, 1864. 

Cane River, April 26-27, 1864. 

Cane River Crossing, April 23, 1864. 

Carrion Crow Bayou, Oct. 14-15-18, Nov. 3-11-18, 1863. 

Centerville, April 12-13, May 25, 1863. 

Chacahoula, May 3, 1865. 

Chacahoula Station, June 24, 1863. 

Chemise Bayou, March 24, 1865. 

Cheney ville. May 18-20, 1863. 

Chicotville, April 29-30, 1863. 

Choctaw Bayou, April 28, 1863. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 413 

Clark's Bayou, April 26, 1863. 

Clinton, June 3-8, 1863; May 11, July 17-18, Aug. 23-29, Oct. 
5-9, Nov. 15, Dec. 23-24, 1864; March 30-1-12, April 2, 1865. 

Clinton Roads, May 14, 1863. 

Cloutierville, March 29-30, April 22-24, 1864. 

Columbia, Feb. 4, 1864. 

Comite River, Mar. 9-10, May 2, 1863; Aug. 25, 1864; Mar. 
30, April 2, 1865. 

Como Landing, June 15-16, 1864. 

Concordia, July 22, 1864. 

Concordia Bayou, Aug. 5, 1864. 

Cotile Landing, April 25, 1864. 

Courtableau Bayou, May 22, 1863. 

Covington, July 27, 1862. 

Cox's Plantation, July 12-13, 1863. 

Cross Bayou, July 4, 1864. 

Crump's Hill, April 2, 1864. 

Cypress Creek, March 8, 1864. 

Dallas Station, Dec. 25-26, 1862. 

David's Ferry, May 1-4-5, 1862. 

Davis' Bend, June 29, 1864. 

Davison's Ford, July 17-18, 1864. 

De Glaize Bayou, May 17-18, 1864. 

De Large Bayou, May 25-27, 1865. 

Delhi, Dec. 25-26, 1862. 

Deloach's Blrff, April 26, 1864. 

De Paul Bayou, April 8, 1864. 

De Russy, Fort, Avril 23-25, May 4, 1863; March 14, 1864. 

Des Allemands, July 18, 1863. 

Des Allemands Bayou, June 20-22, Sept. 4, 1862. 

Desert Station, Dec. 10, 1862. 

Donaldsonville, Aug. 9, Sept. 21-25, Oct. 25, 1862 ; June 28, 
Sept. 23, 1863; Feb. 8, July 31, Sept. 4, 1864; Jan. 19-20, 1865. 

Doyal's Plantation, Aug. 5, Nov. 29, 1863. 

Dunbar's Plantation, April 7-15, 1863. 

Dunn's Bayou, May 5, 1864. 

Eastern Louisiana, Oct. 2-11, 1864. 

False River, March 19, 1863. 

Fausse Pointe Lake, Sept. 7-11, Nov. 18, 1864. 

Fausse River, Sept. 13-17, 1864; Feb. 7-10, 1865. 

Floyd, Aug. 24, 1863. 

Digitized by 


414 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Fordoche Bayou Road, May 29, 1864. 

Franklinton, Feb. 1-3, 1864. 

French Settlement, April 2-5, 1865. 

Gentilly's Plantation, Sept. 1, 1864. 

Georgia Landing, Oct. 27, 1862. 

Gillespie's Plantation, Aug. 4-6, 1864. 

Goodrich's Landing, June 30, 1863; Mar. 24, Aug. 23-31, 1861. 

Governor Moore's Plantation, May 1-4, 1864. 

Graham's Plantation, May 5, 1864. 

Grand Bayou, Feb. 14-18, April 2-10, 1865. 

Grand Caillou, April 19-25, 1865. 

Grand Caillou Bayou, May 8, 1862; Nov. 19-27, 1864. 

Grand Coteau, Oct. 16-19, 1863. 

Grand Ecore, April 3-10-11-16-29, 1864. 

Grand Lake, Sept. 7-11, 1864. 

Grand River, Aug. — , Sept. 7-11,26-30, 1864; Jan. 18-19-29, 
Feb. 7, 1865. 

Greensburg, May 1, 1863 ; Oct. 5-9, 1864. 

Greenwell Springs Road, Sept. 19, Oct. 5, 1863. 

Grossetete, Feb. 19, 1864. 

Grossetete Bayou, April 2, June 19, 1864; Feb. 7-10, 1865. 

Hard Times Landing, April 25-29, 1863. 

Harrisonburg, Sept. 1-7, Sept. 4, 186?; Mar. 1-4-, 1864. 

Henderson's Hill, March 21, 1864. 

Hermitage, The, April 2-5, 1865. 

Hermitage Landing, March 24, 1863. 

Hermitage Plantation, Dec. 14, 1864 ; Jan. 5, 1865. 

Highland Stockade, July 29, 1864. 

Hodge's Plantation, Sept. 11, 1864. 

Hog Point, Mississippi River, Nov. 18-21, 1863. 

Houma, May 11-18, 1862. 

Independence Station, May 15, 1863. 

Indian Bayou, Nov. 9, 1863. 

Indian Bend, April 13, 1863; March 25-27, 1865. 

Capture of the Indianola, Feb. 24, 1863. 

Indian Village, Jan. 28, 1863; Aug. 6, 1864. 

Irish Bend, April 14, 1863. 

Jackson, Aug. 3, 1863 ; Mar. 3, Oct. 5, 1864 ; Mar. 1-12, April 
12-13, 1865. 

Jackson Fort, Jan. 10, 1861 ; April 18-28, 1862; Dec. 9, 1863. 

Jackson Railroad, May 9-18, 1863. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 415 

James Plantation, April 6-8, 1863. 

Jeanerette, April 14, 1863. 

Kittredge's Sugar House, Feb. 10, 1865. 

Labadeville, Oct. 27, 1862; Sept. 8, 1864. 

Lafourche, July 12-13, 1863. 

Lafourche Crossing, June 10-21, 1863. 

La Fourche District, Oct. 24, Nov. 6, 1862. 

Lake Providence, May 24, June 28, 1863; May 27, June 9-24, 
1863 (?). 

Lake Saint Joseph, April 24, June 4, 1863. 

Lamourie Bayou, May 6-7-12, 1864. 

Lecompte, May 12, 1864. 

Liddell Bayou, Oct. 15, 1864. 

Livingston Fort, April 27, 1862. 

Livonia, May 31, 1864. 

McNutt's Hill, April 26, 1864. 

Macomb Fort, Jan. 28, 1861. 

Macon Bayou, May 10, Aug. 24, Sept. 27-29, 1863; Aug. 28- 
31, Nov. 6-8, 1864. 

Mc Williams Plantsticn, April 13, 1863. 

Madisonville, July 27, 18^2; Feb. 11, 1864. 

Magnolia Landing, June 15-16, 1864. 

Manchac Bayou, Oct. 2-8, 1864. • 

Mandeville, Jan. 15-17, 1835. 

Mansfield, April 8, 1864. 

Mansura, May 16, 1864. 

Maringouin Bayou, Sept. 13-16, 1864. 

Marksville Pr^irJe, March 15, May 15, 1864. 

Martin's Land, Feb. 15, 1865. 

Merritt's Plantation, May 14-18-19, 1863. 

Milliken's Bend, Aug. 18, 1862; June 7-25, 1863. 

Monett's Ferry, March 29-30, April 23, 1864. 

Monroe, Aug. 20, Sept. 2, 1863. 

Moore, Camp, Oct. 5-9, 1864. 

Moreauville, May 17, 1864. 

Morgan's Ferry Road, July 28, 1864. 

Morgan's Ferry, Sept. 7-20, 1863 ; Aug. 25, Sept 20, Dec. 13- 
14, 1864. 

Morganza, Sept. 12, 1863; May 24, June 4 (or May 30), July 
28, Aug. 10-12, Sept. 16-25, Oct. 16, Nov. 23, Dec. 4-14, 1864; Jan. 
5-12-15, 1865. " 

Digitized by 


416 The Louisiana Historical Qitarterly 

Morganza Bend, March 12, 1865. 

Mound Plantation, May 24, June 24-29, 1863. * 

Mount Pleasant Landing, May 15, 1864. 

Napoleonville, May 6, July 29, 1864 ; Feb. 10, 1865. 

Natchez Bayou, Aug. 30, Sept* 2, 1864. 

Natchitoches, March 31, April 5-20-21, May 5, 1864. 

Nelson's Bridge, Oct. 4, 1863. 

New Carthage, March 31, April 17, 1863. 

New Iberia, April 18, Oct. 4, 1863. 

New Orleans, Feb. 19, 1861 ; April 18, May 1, 1862. 

New Orleans and Jackson Railroad, May 11, 1863. 

Newport Crossroads, June 17, 1864. 

New River, Sept. 24-29, 1863; Feb. 9, Oct. 2-8, 1864. 

New Roads, Jan. 31, 1865. 

Newton, April 16, 1863. 

Niblett's Bluff, May 26-29, 1863. 

Northeastern Louisiana, Jan. 26, Feb. 11, 1865. 

Old Oaks, May 17-18, 1864. 

Old River, Feb. 10, 1863. 

Olive Branch, Aug. 5-25, 1864. 

Olive Branch Bayou, May 3, 1864. 

Opelousas, April 17-21, Oct. 20-21-30, Nov. 1-17, 1863. 

Orange Grove, July 31, 1864. 

Osyka, Oct. 5-9, 1864. 

Ouachita River, March 1-4, 1864. 

Oyster Bayou, March 25-28, 1865. 

Park, The, Jan. 26, Feb. 4-17-22, April 2-10, 1865. 

Pass Manchac, June 17, July 25, Aug. 2, Sept. 13-15, 1862; 
Feb. 8-11, 1863. 

Pattersonville, April 11, 1863; Aug. 2, 1864. 

Pearl River, July 25, Aug. 2, 1862; Sept. 9-12, 1864. 

Pearl River Expedition, April 1-10, 1864. 

Pelton's Plantation, April 19-25, 1865. 

Pest-House, May 28, 1864. 

Petite Anse Island, Nov. 21-22,1862. 

Phelps Bayou, April 26, 1863. 

Pierre Bayou, May 2-3, 1864. 

Pigeon Bayou, Sept. 7-11-26-30, 1864; March 20-22, 1865. 
• Pike Fort, Jan. 14, 1861 ; April 27, 1862. 

Pineville, April 24, 1864. 

Pin Hook, May 10, 1865. 

Digitized by 


Louisiana Confederate Military Records 417 

Plain's Store Road, May 21-23, 1863. 

Planton Bayou, Jan, 30-31, 1865. 

Plaquemine, Dec. 29-31, 1862; Jan. 3, April 18, June 18, 1863; 
August 6, 1864. 

Plaquemine Bayou, Feb. 12-28, April 22-23, 1863. 

Pleasant Grove, April 8, 1864. 

Pleasant Hill, April 7-9, 1864. 

Pleasant Hill Landing, April 12-13, 1864. 

Point Pleasant, June 25, 1864. 

Ponchatoula, July 5-8, Sept. 13-15, 1862; March 21-30, May 
13, 1863. 

Pontchatrain, July 25, Aug. 2, 1862; Sept. 13, Oct. 2, 1863. 

Portage Bayou, Nov. 23, 1863; Nov. 17-19, 1864. 

Porter's Plantation, April 13, 1863. 

Port Hudson, Aug. 15-19, Sept. 7, 1862 ; March 14-15-17, May 
21, July 8, Nov. 30, 1863; April 7, May 28, Aug. 29, 1864. 

Pratt Gamp, Nov. 20-25, 1863. 

Quitman Fort, April 27, 1862. 

Raccourci, Nov. 25, 1864. 

Rapides Bayou, March 20, 1864. 

Rapides Bayou Bridge, April 26, 1864. 

Ratliff s Landing, June 15, 1864. 

Ratliff's Plantation, May 14-16, 1865. 

Red River, Feb. 10-14, Oct. 1-20, 1863; April 26-27, 1864, 

Red River Gampaign, March 10, May 22, 1864. . v 

Redwood Bayou, May 3, 1864. 

Richland Plantation, Jan. 30, 1865. 

Richmond, Jan. 29, Mar. 31, April 4, June 6-15-20, 1863; 

Robert Bayou, May 8, 1864. 

Roberts' Ford, May 2, 1863. 

Rosedale, Feb. 19, 1863; Sept. 15, 1864. 

Sabine Gross Roads, April 8, 1864. 

Saint Gharles Go'urt House, Aug. 29, Sept. 7-8, 1862; Oct. 5, 

Saint Francisville, Oct. 5, 1864. 

Saint Joseph, Oct. 8, 1864. 

Saint Martinsville, Nov. 12, Dec. 3, 1863. . 

Saint Philip, Fort, Jan. 10, 1861 ; April 18-28, 1862. 

Saint Vincent Bayou, May 24, 1865. 

Saline Bayou, April 14, 1864. 

Digitized by 


418 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Sicily Island, Sept. 26-30, 1864. 
Simmesport, June 3, 1863 ; June 8, July 5-7, 1864. 
Smith's Plantation, May 16, 1864. 
Sorrel Bayou, Jan. 21-22, 1865. 

Southwest Mississippi and East Louisiana, Oct. 2-11, 1864. 
Springfield Landing, July 2, 1863. 
Springfield Road, May 23, 1863. 
Stirling's Plantation, Sept. 12-29, 1863. 
Tallulah, Aug. 19, 1862. 
Tchefuncta River, July 25, Aug. 2, 1862. 
Teche Bayou, Jan. 14, April 12-13, Oct. 3, 1863; Mar. 21, 1865. 
Teche Country, Oct. 3, Nov. 30, 1863. 
Teche Road, May 21-26, 1863. 

Tensas Bayou, May 9, Aug. 10, 1863; July 30, Aug. 26, 1864. 
Thibodeaux, June 30, 1863. 
Thompson's Creek, May 25, 1863; Oct. 5, 1864. 
Thompson's Plantation, Jan. 23, 1865. 
Tickfaw Bridge, May 16, 1863. 
Trinity, Sept. 2, Nov. 15-16, 1863; May 1-4, 1864. 
Tunica Bayou, Nov. 8, 1863. 
Tunica Bend, Nov. 8, 1863, April 21, 1864. 
Vermilion Bayou, April 17, Oct. 9-10, Nov. 11-25,30, 1863. 
Vermilion, Nov. 5-8, 1863. 

Verret Lake, Jan. 30-31, Feb. 10-13, April 2-10, May 23, 1865. 
Vidalia, Sept. 14, Nov 15-16, 1863; Feb. 7, July 22, Oct. 
26-27, 1864. 

Wall's Bridge, May 1, 1863. 

Washington, April 10, Oct. 24-31, 1863. 

Waterloo, June 16, 1863; Oct. 20, 1864. 

Waterproof, Jan. 29, Feb. 23, April 20, Sept. 26-30, 1864. 

Well's Plantation, May 2-6, 1864. 

Whiskey Bayou, Jan. 16-18, 1865. 

Williams Bridge, May 1, 1863. 

Williamsport, Sept. 16, Nov. 25, 1864. 

Wilson's Landing, May 2-14, 1864. 

Wilson's Plantation near Pleasant Hill, April 7, 1864. 

Wood Fort, April 27, 1862. 

Yellow Bayou, May 17-18, 1864. 

York Plantation, Oct. 26-27, 1864. 

Young's Point, June 7, 1865. 

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. OS a-ioo^. s 

The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

VoL 4, No. 4 October, 1921 

Stones of Reims. 

Rights of Women in Louisiana. 

The Bitoxi Bi-Centennial. 

Gayarre^s Report on Louisiana 
Archives in Spain. 

Records of the Superior Council 

No. xn. 

Published September, 1922 

Published QoarUrly by 



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The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No. 4 

October, 1921 

Entered as Second ClaiA mail matter June 6. 1917. at the poet-ofllice at New Orleans^ La., 

under Act o( August 24, 1912. 

Subscription $ 2.00 per annum, payable in advance. Address Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

Cabildo, New Orleans, La. 

RamtTes-Jones Printing Co. 

Baton Rou^e, La. 


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JOHN DYMOND, First Vice-President. 

BUSSIERE ROUEN, Second Vice-President. 

HENRY RENSHAW, Third Vice-President. 

W. O. HART. Treasurer. 

HENRY P. DART, Archivist. 

MISS GRACE KING, Recording Secretary. 

MRS. HELOISE HULSE CRUZAT, Corre^x)nding Secretary. 

Executive Committee 

John Dymond, Chairman; Gaspar Cusachs, Bussiere Rouen, Henry Renshaw 
W. 0. Hart, Henry P. Dart, Miss Grace King and Mrs. Heloise Hulse Cruzat. 

Editor Historical Quarterly 

JOHN DYMOND. CabUdo. New Or^eanP'. 

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Table of Contents 

Vol. 4, No. 4 October. 1921 

Stones of Reimfi— Edward Alexander Parsons 425 

Rights of Women in Louisiana—!^. 0. Hart 437 

The Biloxi Bi-Centennial— i4m/r^ Lafargue 459 

Gayarre's Report of Louisiana Archives in Spain.i 464 

Records of the Superior Council No. XII 481 

Edited by Henry P. Dart] 

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The Louisiana 
Historical Quarterly 

Vol. 4, No. 4 October, 1921 


By Edward Alexander Parsons.^ 

"In the elder days of Art 

Builders wrought with greatest care 
Each minute and unseen part» 
For ttie gods see everywhere." 

— r-LongfeUow. 
1. The Cathedral. 
Ill man's ceaseless efforts to attain Olympian Heights, the 
realization of beauty has been, perhaps, his foreiHost achieve- 
ment. The Good, the True, and the Beautiful are synonymous 
representatiotifl of the spirit, thought and form of life, literature 
and art. In life, the character and exaltation of rare spiritual 
lives; in literature, the consummate artistry of word and thought; 
and in art, a perfection of form on canvas, in marble or in stone. 
Of man's first art, and probably the last that shall confront 
his own destructiveness, or the elemental chaos of the end, — in 
architectui-e — we Will find the embodiment of his every pUrpose 
and of all hi^ fears, hopes and dreams. From the cutting of the 
first tree for the entrance to the first hut, — hoary parent of Doric 
to Corinthian column,— to the last mallet stroke of Ictiilos on the 

• A paoer read before the T^oulsiana Historical Society January 24, 1922. At 
the Jeanne D'Arc celebration. Reims. France, July 15-17, 1921, the Ivoulsiana His- 
torical Society was represented by Messrs. Edward A. Parsons, Andre t«af^rgue and 
the late J. ^nford Saltus. Messrs. Andre I^afargrue and Edward A. Parsond were 
also the delppates of the City of New Orleans. 

*rhe delei?ates were received by the municipal authorities of Reims; they were 
accorded sn<^ciaj honor at the great Pontifical Mass, (July 17, 1921) celebrated by bis 
F3minence, Cardinal Lucon, Archbishon of Reims, and he'd In the famous square with 
the historic Cathedral as an altar-backgrroupd. Mgrr. Tessier of Chalons delivered the 
oratkm. Cardinal Lliqon, the heroic Archbishop of Reims, specially received the 
delegrktes at a memorable meeting. In the afternoon, literary l.eaders of France and 
prominent members of the theatre delivered addresses and recited poems. . 

.The delegates, at the foot of Dubois' far-famed equestrian statue of the Maid 
of France, presented the Flag of New Orleans to the City of Reims. A wreath wa» 
placed on behalf of the Louisiana Historical Society. 

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426 The Louisiana Historical Ovxtrterly 

Pentalic marble of the Parthenon, or the final polish by some un- 
known master on the last relief on the Western facade of the 
Cathedral of Reims, or the inlaying of the last gem in the arabes- 
ques of the Taj Mahal, all epitomize our complex car^r from our 
simplest needs to our soul's loftiest flights. 

At least three times in architecture has perfect work been 
done. In the ancient world, in Greece, at Athens, the Parthenon 
most perfect of buildings, proclaims the national glory of the most 
gifted of the children of men ; in the Middle Age, in^ France, at 
Reims, the Cathedral, flower of architecture, heralds the eternal 
truths of Christendom; and in modern times, in India, at Agra, 
the Taj Mahal, most beautiful of buildings, keeps alive the con- 
stant flame of man's deathless love. 

To the glory of God, to the greatness of a people, and to the 
undying memory of human affection, thesje precious things were 
reared by soul and mind and heart, embracing the perfect gamut 
of our being and proclaiming our triumphs of faith, of patriotism 
and of humanity. And they are (or at least they were) literally, 
the veritable heritage of the race. 

But one survives in pristine stat^ the mausoleum that, Shah 
Jehan built to his fair love. A sinister fate, singular, and cur- 
ious, has overtaken the other two ; in 1687 the mortar of Koenigs- 
mark, the German commander of the Venetian land forces, de- 
stroyed the Parthenon, priceless relic of ancient art, and in 1918, 
the unknown gunners of the German army ruthlessly shot to 
pieces the Cathedral of Reims, the fairest gem of mediaeval art. 

It is a wonderful story, the history of the Church in art (i. e. 

In the beginning the humble believers assembled in cata- 
combs and secret places to worship the true God. Then came the 
great triumph under Constantino, when the Church emerged 
from material darkness, took her proper place in the sun, develop- 
ed her splendid ritual and sacerdotal ceremonial, fought, no lon- 
ger an unequal or uncertain fight with paganism and destroyed 
it ; and finally established as the religion of the empire, had need 
for fitting places for divine service. The temples of the pagan 
gods could not be used, if for no other reason than that they 
were relatively small and not built to hold a multitude of wor- 
shippers, and so they turned to the vast buildings called basilicas, 
which had served in the ancient world for places for the adminis- 
tration of justice, for the assembly of the people, a sort of fair or 

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stones of Reims 427 

market-place for traders and mopey changers. . These were first 
used, but the early Christians gradually made important construc- 
tural changes of their own, abandoning the Graeco-Roman system 
of rectilinear construction, and making the arches rest directly 
on separate columns, which served as their support. The break- 
ing up of the arcade or range of arches was a new departure; 
it made the column the real support of the arch, and definitely 
parting from the ancient orders, laid the foundation of an eccle- 
siastical style, employing cupola, vaults and arches in Christian 
churches, of which St. Sophia at Constantinople, built in the 6th 
century under Justinian, is a piost glorious example. ' The Byzan- 
tine spirit crept to the West, and contributed its jewels at Ra- 
venna and other seats in Italy. After Charlemagne, for nearly 
two centuries civil strife, Norman incursion, and chaos reigned 
and darkness settled over the fair lands of Europe, as zealots 
preached the millennium, the end of time. But the year 1000 
passed without the dread event and men took up life anew. In 
the words of the good Monk, Raoul Glaber, the chronicler : 

"It was as if the World, shaking off its old tatters, desired 
to re-clothe itself in the white robes of the Church." 

And he tells how "all religious buildings,; — cathedrals, coun- 
try churches, village chapels,^ — were transformed into something 
better." This was the Romanesque architecture that differed 
from the old basilica. It took the form of the Latin cross, that 
is, a long nave intersected at above two thirds of its length 
by a transept ; a vaulted roof, thick walls, windows usually round 
at the top, with decorations geometrical, fantastical or conven- 
tional, and as a rule one or more towers; the whole having the 
air of much solidity, yet somewhat heavy and depressed in 
style, but with all the sense of serene majesty and grandeur. 
The Cathedral of Pisa and particularly the churches south of 
the Loire are good examples of the Romanesque school. Many 
of them' were built by associations of builders, abbots, prelates, 
and monks, men bound by religious vows; the arts and crafts 
were practiced in the convents; bishops and churchmen directed 
the work, and the monks performed labors of every sort. Hence 
somewhere it has been claimed that this Romanesque Round Arch 
was the chief sacerdotal style adopted wherever ancient tradition, 
feudalism, and the Church were strongest. But this was the un- 
tenable thesis of Victor Hugo (in Notre Dame de Paris) and the 
Romantic School of the 19th century, who created the fond idea 

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428 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

that there was a liberty in architecture during the Middle Age 
correspohdihg to the liberty of the presi^ in oui* time. ' ' 

And now we reach the last great staged — ^the chniax' of eccle- 
siastical architecture. It was Raphael, I belieVe, who in a report to 
his great patron, the art-loving Medici, Pope Leo X, first charac- 
terized the style as "Gothic" (i. e. "Barbarous" in the old classical 
sense) as opposed to Roman; and Vasari, the Plutarch of paint- 
ers, sculptors, and' architects, in his Bible of Italian Art, has so 
firmly embedded the word in universal vocabularies that the fine 
stylus of the scientific inquirer will never, 1 fear, be able to dis- 
lodge it. And therefore it remained misnamed, because it has 
nothing whatsoever to do with the Goths, the Gothic Style. Able 
theses have been written in favor of ' the ''Pointed" style or 
"French Pointed Style" or "German Pointed Style," according to 
the nationality of the proponent, feut the English will have none 
of it ; hence old Georgio Vasar| wins and it remains the "Gbthic** 

With nature as the foundation and Heaven the object of his 
vision, the Gothic architect has evolved a veritable marvel of 
thought wrought in letters of stone. 

Gothic Art ma^ be a progression, an evolution in the con- 
tinuity of art, but it is a t)hase so original in design, so daring in 
aspiration, and astounding in realization as to be thought of as 
a separate, distinct, single, living, vital force. Where its prede- 
cessor sought the earth in solid magnificence, it sprang to the 
sky, with delicate folds of lacy- stone and dazzling spires of in- 
finite height. Casting aside the old builders' rule, from Egjrp- 
tian temple to Romanesque Church, of ni&ssive walls tod few 
apertures, it boldly dealt in vertical lines and' lofty heights; all 
was "lifted up ;" they raised the height Of walls, further weakened 
the structure by many opening^, atid thert, it not being strong 
enough to resist the thrust of the vaults, they iilvented the "fly- 
ing buttress" (exterior stone arches supported at the spring by 
solid masses of masonry called buttresses) to insure the! iDuild- 
ings' firmness; they increased the height of vaults to enlarge 
spaces for windows, rose windows and apertures in excess of 
solid surfaces; they lifted up the arch and made it pointed; they 
erected airy pinnacles, slender belfries, daring flights of lace- 
like traceries in stone ; and they used ribbed vaulting and exterior 
galleries and architectural divisions tod structural necessities, 
which were decorated with fruits and plants, the local flor'a of 

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stones of Reims 429 

the region; with a fauna illustrative of the extraordinary imag- 
ination aftd piquant humor of the mediaeval mind and with sculp- 
turjBs, of scene and incident of scriptural, lives, pregnant with 
nieaning^ like some formulae from the p^ges of Sf;. Thomas Aqyi- 
nas, all wrought with a skill and mastery sujggestive of early 
Grecian sculpture. 

And so were reared those airy, light and lofty structures, 
heralding the fame of the men who gave them birth, and pro- 
claiming the faith of the age that built these churches that verit- 
ably lift up the souLto God. For if, within. a Gothic shrine, a 
man there is who feels not the exaltation of the place, for him 
art has no message, or the divine things of life — a miracle alone 
can save him. ^ 

These "sermons in stones" were erected throughout West- 
ern Christendom in France, Notre Dame (1163) and Sainte-Cha- 
pelle (1248) of Paris; Bourges (1172) ; Chartres (1194); 
Amiens (1215) ; and Reims (1211) ; in Alsace (Strassburg, 
(1277) ; in Germany (Cologne, 1248) ; in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, 
Bohemia, and Hungary; in England (Canterbury, rebuilt), Lin- 
coln (1190), Westminster Abbey <1245)„ Salisbury (1220) ; down 
into Italy, where that forest of white marble at Milan proclaims 
the triumph. of Gothic art in the country least willing to ac- 
cept it. 

In the wonderful thirteenth century -in: the. ancient City of 
Reims, in 1211 Bishop Alberic de Humbert laid the first stone 
of the Cathedral. It was completed in exactly one hundred years 
(1311) to which is attributed its perfect unity of design and ex- 
ecution. A magnificent example of the early Gothic style, it was 
probably the masterpiece of mediaeval Gothic ^rt. 

The plans were made and the apse built by Jean d'Orbais. 

"Nothing can exceed the majesty of its deeply recessed por- 
tals, the beauty of the rose- window that surmounts them, or the 
elegance of the gallery that completes the facade and serves as 
a basement to the light and graceful towers that crown the com- 
position." (Fergusson.) 

Robert de Coucy was the, artist that made the great doorway, 
crowned with the gallery of the forty-two statues of the Kings 
of France. 

The rose window surmounting the central portal is nearly 
forty feet in diameter. 

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430 The Louisiana Historical Qvxirterly 

Its three recessed portals, its rose window, its gallery of 
kings, its two towers, and the whole ensemble was a wonderful 
book in stone, from whose pages on the morning of the great Pon- 
tifical Mass (July 17, 1921), there seemed to come forth the 
ghosts, the shadow shapes of that ancient, historic and artistic 
array of smiling angels, sad or sour saints, serious, anxious and 
conventional kings, life-like ecclesiastics, with hundred of figures 
of angels, saints and devils, priests, bishops, and kings, men, 
beasts, and monsters, with minute figurines illustrating arts, 
various motifs from classic simplicity in pose and drapery to 
every intricacy of gothic imagination, from Christ and the Virgin 
and heroes of the Old and New Testaments and scenes of judg- 
ment to grotesque and extraordinary gargoyles, portraying every 
phase or thought or dream, in the kaleidoscopic pageantry of the 
mediaeval mind. 

The Western Facade, described by experts to be "perhaps 
the most beautiful structure produced in the Middle Ages," is 
likewise adorned with three wonderful recessed portals, contain- 
ing over 500 statues. The N. Portal has many figures including 
the celebrated "Beau Dieu" or Christ giving a benediction. There 
are hundreds of statues practically surrounding the edifice on the 
buttresses, the flying buttresses, and the open arcade below the 
spring of the roof. 

The Church is 453 feet long, 98 feet wide, and 125 feet high. 

The imposing interior has less decoration than the exterior, 
although the framework of the portals is adorned with 122 

The whole structure in design, in construction and embel- 
ishment embodied forth the fairest genius of mediaeval art; it 
was a perfect work wrought by men with faith and music in their 
souls, that music which old Vitruvius said the consummate archi- 
tect must possess with the sister arts of painting, sculpture and 

11. The City of Reims. 

On the right bank of the Vesle, with Picardy to the North, 
Champagne to the East, and the whole of the He de France to the 
West, is situated the historic City of Reims. 

An old English traveller of the 18th century (Arthur Young, 
F. R. S.) describes his impressions: 

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S(tone8 of Reims 431 

"The full view of the City from this hill, just before the 
descent, at the distance of about four miles, is magnificent The 
cathedral makes a great figure, and the CIHurch of St. Remy ter- 
minates the town proudly. Many times I have had such a view 
of towns in France, but when you enter them, all. is a clutter of 
narrow, crooked, dark and dirty lanes. At Reims it is very dif- 
ferent ; the streets are almost all broad, straight, and well built, 
equal in that respect to any that I have seen." 

And this description is given after the traveller had just ex- 
perienced a great disappointment. For he had just related that 
he was on the "road to Rheims, very famous for its wines" and 
that: "I (he) had a letter for Mons. Lasnier, who has 60,000 
bottles in his cellar, but unfortunately he was not at home." 

In Roman days it was called Durocortprum and wa9 the 
capital of the Remi, as the Gauls of that region were named. It 
early submitted to Caesar ; was capital of Belgium Secundum in 
the 3rd century; Valentinian sojourned there in 267 and it was 
a prominent centre of Gallo-Roman culture. 

During the third century Saints Sixtus and Sinicius estab- 
lished a See; Christianity was actively preached in the 4th cen- 
tury and the Consul Jovinus was converted. A line of great bish- 
ops have held the See. In 406 the Vandals beheaded the Arch- 
bishop St. Nicasius at the threshhold of the church. The great 
St. Remigius brought about the marriage of Clovis with St. Clo- 
tilda ; Clovis was baptized on Christmas 496, and the foundation 
of the political and religious power of the great See of Reims was 
laid. . 

The story of the Church iat Reims i^ of much interest, full 
of life and color. Hincmar (845) the most illustrious built the 
Cathedral destroyed by fire in 1211; the Count Herbert of Ver- 
mandon forced his son Hugh, a boy of five, to be consecrated 
Archbishop — he was finally excommunicated; the decisive step 
in the elevation of the Capets to the throne of France was taken 
here; Gerbert (991), afterward Pope Sylvester II, was Arch- 
bishop; Renaud de Chartres (1414) wrote the unjust letter con- 
cerning Jeanne d'Arc to the citizens of Reims and did nothing 
to rescue her from his suffragan, the despicable Bishop Couchon 
of Beauvais; William Gifford, an Englishman, was once Arch- 
bishop ; Mary Stuart came at the age of six and was partly edu- 
cated here; Archbishop Landriot (1867-74) great writer and 
preacher, famous during the Franco-Prussian War for his protest 

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against the military' lexec^ition of tlie ^bbe Mirdy, Onie bthik parish 
priests,' t)y tH^ |'r^ssia^s^ln tlie middlifi o^f ^^ iarrrilstice; aiid finally 
t^devoited Cardinal iiugon, wh6 rppidin^d faithful tb kls charge 
during ail' fhe l^pmbarcjn^^^ and w'hq after the total desfrui^tion 
of his episcopal pal^e,,bVcame.the gr^at historic witness of the 
ruthless destructiipri of liis. no. pf ill the world's and of all the 
generations that are to coine--thejr ,chtir6h— the precious gem of 
Gothic Mediaeval artV ^ ' > »• • 

, Reims had many fine buildings;. Its Hotel de Ville, a hand- 
some Renaissance structure, in the Blip Colbert, /contained a li- 
bi:ary of ^0,000 yolunie^ and! 1,500 manuscripts. Jhe abbey 
church of St. Remi was the m9st ancient pcclesiastic^l building 
in the city and contains the famous ifdmb'of St. Remi, with the 
Saint baptizing Cloyis, surrpupded by thp Twelve P^eer of France, 
who carry tl^e symbol^ pf the coronation (the,six spiritual peers) 
— 7the Archbishop, of Reims, who annointed the king ; the bishops 
of Laon, who held the sacred ampulla ; of Larigres, with' the royal 
sceptre; of Beauvais, holding the emblazoned surcoat; of Cha- 
lons, with tbe royal signet ring ; of Nbyon, with the baldrtc, and 
the six temporal peers, the Duke of Burgundy, holding the crown, 
with. the £)ukes of Normandy and Acqiiitaine and the Counts of 
Flanders, Chanipagne and Toulouse, all ih white marble. 

AS' the Primates of France, the Archbishops of Reims in their 
Cathedral have. crowned all the rulers of France from. the be- 
ginning of the Capetian dynasty and some before except Hugh 
Capet, crowned at Noyon, Henri IV at Chartres, Napoleon I at 
Paris, and Louis XVIH, Lpuii^ Philippe and Napoleon III, who 
werej not crowned at all. 

In.tjiis hasty sketch we can merely mention the great UniT 
versity of Reims in the 16th century, in the time of William Al- 
len, when the New Testament was published by thq English 
College at Reims (1582), now forming part of the ap-callecj Douai 
Bible. An Opera House and public buildings graced, this city of 
over a hundred thousand spuls. 

It is curious to relate that the Porte de Mars, a triumphal 
arch and chief Roman memorial, in Reims almost, alone, escaped 
injury and destruction. . < ;, . 

Marty are the famous sons of Reims^: Dom Marlot; the Ben- 
edictine, historian of the city; Colbert, the famous minister; 
Trohi^on Ducondray,'who defended Marie Antoinette, etc., etd. - , 

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stones of Reims 433 

., ; But ttie one. SVeat J^act \n Ifhe M^tp^y of ^tl^is famous city 
lalimt 9p.Jv)y, 17,,14 cW1q3, ylj. was crpwn^d Kii^ of Iterance 
tVojiJ^h tl;^ h^eroiq efforts" aP^ divide m^sio^ pf Jeappe d'Arp. , 

•-;;■;* ^.^;..; •'■•■';'" iii. •'jEiANNis'b^Rc.;'' •■'■ * ■ ' ^^ ^ 

; Jeaprie d'Arc t It is indeed a name to conjure with. I know 
pf buVtwo peoples who completely rally at the name of a single 
being:, who ppssess a perfect shibboleth for pagan and believier, for 
rich and poor, for learned and unlettered, :for conservative and 
ratiical, for Christian and sociialiiat, for all of the common blood 
to come and offer reverence— they typifying the Very genius of 
their land's' arid people— they are the leader of the Latin race, 
France, the Spiiritual daughter of ancient Greece; acclaiming 
the simple, Spotless, virgin, warrior Maid who visualized the 
poetical soul of her race; and Italy, the historical child of ancient 
Rome, uniting around the austre figure of the celestial Dante, who 
embodied the profound culture Of his land. 

From Alilan to the seas of Sicily yoii will :^ind in every placid 
the companion alone of Homer and of Shakespeare. Throughout 
every hamlet, village, town and city of France, yea, in every 
church, in every hamlet, village, town and city, is the simple 
Maici of .Domremy, the savior of her country. 

It is indeed a 3tory unique in history, seeming more like an 
exquisite tale of mediaeval legend, such as our mother might have 
tpldr of the fair white maiden who went forth to succor the 
wounded knight, herself always in danger of the dread dragon. 

It is without parallel in the annals of mankind. You, who 
have poiidered over the pages of Herodotus, and followed the re- 
corder3.of events through the tomes of his Greek, Roman, Byzan- 
tine and Western Continuators ; you, who have dabbled in cune- 
iforpi or labored with hieroglyphs and are familiar with the sa- 
cred scriptures, do you know in all that record of seventy cen- 
turies any career, actual or apocryphal, comparable with that 
of the Maid of. France? 

A simple peasant girU the child of an huijible farmer, occu- 
pied in the household spinning, sewing, occasionally assisting in 
th^ field or watching the flock, absolutely unlettered, having learn- 
ed th^. Pater, the Crpclo and Ave Maria by word of mouth, a cheer- 
ful, reasonable, normal girl, with a great reverence for religion 
an4 a deepjntuitive goodness, who has never left her, native vil- 
lage of ,E[o;mremy inl^orxaine* i? ,at thq agejof twplye t,he recipient 

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434 The Louisiana Historical Qiiarterly 

of a strange visitation — St. Michael, the flaming sword of the 
Lord, and the gentle Saints Catherine (of Alexandria) and Mar- 
garet (of Antioch) appear to her and become her far-famed 
"Voices" guiding, admonishing and comforting her in the little 
garden of her home, in the field, the church, the prison, the court, 
and, we pray, at the last moment of her great sacrifice. They 
told her of the "pity there was in France" and many things of 
great moment and an intense longing to go into France and expel 
the inyaders and crown her lawful king took complete possession 
of her and she goes forth on that wonderful and fateful mission. 

Against the wishes of her parents, with every obstacle in her 
path, she goes to the rough soldier de Baudricourt at Vaucouleurs 
and persuades him to send her to the king at Chinon. She dons 
male attire from necessity and with Jean de Metz and Bertrand 
de Poulengy, her two faithful soldier-guides, sets forth on the 
wild and dangerous jo.urney, more than one hundred and fifty 
leagues through territory infested by Burgundians and English 
foeman. Surmounting every danger because "her Lord had told 
her she must go into the war in order to recover the kingdom," 
she at last arrives at Chinon and after much investigation she is 
admitted into the royal presence.. 

Although Prince Charles de Bourbon pretended to be the 
king, she went straight up to Charles, and when he asked who 
she was, she answered : "Gentle Dauphin, my name is Jeanne the 
Maid, and the king of Heaven announced by me that you will be 
crowned in the City of Reims. And I tell you on the part of my 
Lord (of Heaven) that you are the true heir of France and son 
of the king. . He sends me to lead you to Reims." 

Then began that brief but extraordinary military career of 
about thirteen months in which Orleans was relieved and de- 
livered in but nine days after a siege of half a year ; in which the 
victory of Patay was achieved and the campaign of the Loire, 
which lasted a week. She was entitled to the credit for the 
surrender of Troyes, though she had gone to Reims. But she was 
ever a sign to be contradicted, and the campaign in the Ile-de- 
France and the failure at Paris was entirely due to the paltroon- 
ery of Charles VII, and the treachery of his advisers. 

She had crowned her king in the great Cathedral of Reims 
and it is said that in four months the English had lost the conquest 
of ten years. 

Jeanne soon learned, however, that though you can crown a 
king you cannot make him fight and the warrior maid went forth 

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•Stones of Reims . 435 

with a handful of men to combat the enemies of her king both 
foreign and domestic. • 

But her great hour had come when, practically deserted, if 
not betrayed by her own people, she at Compeigne succumbed to 
the various bands of Picards, Burgundians and English ; she was 
taken by Wandonne and became the prisoner of John of Luxem- 
bourg. And thus she had fallen into the hands of that great 
gamester, the Duke of Burgundy. Luxembourg, to his everlast- 
ing shame, actually sold the Maid, through the villain Couchon, a 
political cleric, to the English king for ten thousand livres tour- 
nois, a large sum — indeed the ransom of a king. 

The sequel of the pitiable tragedy is well known. How at 
Rouen, after experiencing all the horror of captivity, at a court 
presided over by Couchon, and with the connivance of the faculty 
of the University of Paris, the Maid was tried and murdered. 

The trial is an extraordinary spectacle in the intellectual his- 
tory of man. Jeanne was her only witness^ alone, day after day, 
week after week, she successfully met her pitiless and unscrupu- 
lous persecutors. After nights and days in vile prisons, guarded 
by brutal soldiers, subjected to every infamy, she would be 
brought before her accusers, who enjoying all the luxuries and 
comforts of life, would try to trick her into incriminating admis- 
sions. But she was ever keen and alert, quick to answer when 
she should answer and knowing well when to be silent or to say 
to her tormentors, with firmness and dignity "Pass on to other 
matters." All this without counsel or advice, deserted by all 
and aided only by her Voices. And so this untutored girl, who 
could not even read or write, baffled the sharpest minds of law- 
yers and theologians. Either she was inspired or our methods of 
acquiring knowledge are vain, and the student, like Dr. Faustus, 
should burn his books. 

On May 30th, 1429, at eight o'clock in the morning in the old 
market place at Rouen, the spotless maid was burned at the 
stake, to the shame of her English enemies and the Burgundian 
traitors, and to the everlasting infamy of France. When the 
frightful deed was accomplished, Tressart, Secretary to the En- 
glish King, cried out "We have burned a Saint." 

It is curious to note that by the English was she first called 
a saint, and that even Shakespeare says: , 
"No longer on St. Denis will we cry 

But Joan la Pucelle shall be France's saint."— I Hen. VI- (1-6). 
To the English she was their enemy, one who had humbled 
their military pride. They had acquired her in dishonor, but the 

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436 The Louisiana Historical Qtiarterly 

ethics Ox a brutal age and unscrupulous statescraft could see but 
three things to do: (1) Not to execute' her, meant that she could 
be ransomed and would be again in the field against them. (2) To 
execute her, as their political and military enemy, would remove 
her from the earthly field, but might further the cause of France. 
(3) But to have the "Church" try and condemn her for witch- 
craft or heresy, would destroy her mission and ruin the cause of 
Charles VII. 

But for France and Charles VII ! Before she came, chaotic 
France was a by-word for scorn and contempt and the very 
birthright of Charles was questioned. She drove the invaders 
out, she crowned her King, and recreated France. Yet in her 
hour of trial and terror, he cowardly deserted her and did not a 
thing to rescue or avert her fate. 

The only mitigation of this blot, particularly on the fair 
escutcheon of France, is that both French and English scholar- 
ship have from the beginning admitted their sin and done justice 
to the memory of the pure and true Maid of France. 

A few years after her death a second trial was held and 
121 witnesses freely testified to her perfect faith, truth, and 
virtue. This was the famous Rehabilitation and on July 7, 1456, 
sentence was proclaimed at Rouen, in the cemetery and at Or- 
leans, with all the pomp and circumstance of ancient ceremony: 
"Annulling the process of condemnation, the abjuration, the sen- 
tence, and all the effects that followed therefrom." 

On April 6, 1919, in the Hall of the Consistory at the Vatican, 
Pope Benedict XV proclaimed St. Jeanne d'Arc, Maid of France, 
truly the patron-saint of her land and race. 

"Thy country's sin, the insult and the shame. 
The scaffold's doom, the faggot and the flame — 
All these shall pass and be remembered not ; 
Fair Charity, with kindly tears shall blot 
From France's shield the black corroding stain, 
Caught from thy blood, Lily of Lorraine! 

The hero's heart shall lose its thirst for fame, 
And truth be dead, and virtue but a name. 
Ere men shall cease to honor thee who gave 
To France, to liberty, to truth — 
In battle's bloodiest trenches undismayed 
'Neath insult meek, in persecution brave 
Thy love, thy life, thy stainless youth 
0, Virgin, Patriot, and Martyr Maid !" 

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By W. 0. Hart* 

I did not know until I received the card announcing this 
meeting what my subject was to be, but thought it was to be 
"The Rights of Married Women in Louisiana"; however, as un- 
married women of age and widows have never been under re- 
straint except as to suffrage and office-holding, necessarily most 
of what I shall say will refer to married women. 

We lawyers of Louisiana believe that next to the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, the Civil Code of Louisiana is the great- 
est work that ever came from the mind of man, and most of 
those who complain of its provisions are ignorant of it and are 
too prejudiced against it to properly appreciate it. 

Many of the inequalities under the law claimed by some op-, 
posed to the code relate to husbands as well as to wives ; but when 
the complaint is made there is no effort to show that same 
are not intended as a rule as discriminations against married 
women. For instance, under the Civil Code as originally written 
and revised in 1870 (Article 1752) it was provided that a man 
or woman who contracts a second or subsequent marriage having 
children by the former, can give to his wife, or she to her hus- 
band, only the- least child's portion, and that only as a usufruct, 
and in no case shall the portion of which the donee is to have the 
U3uf ruct exceed the fifth part of the donor's estate. Now, I have 
heard advocates of women's rights in discussing this law, say 
the husband can give to his second wife not more than one-fifth 
of his estate and that only during his lifetime, while to a stranger 
he may give two-thirds, if he have but one child by the former 
marriage. But a second husband under this law is in the same 

♦ A paper read before the Louisiana Historical Society March 22, 1921. 

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438 The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 

condition as the second wife, but this was never thought of in 
attacking the law. 

I am glad to state that in the course of human events, this 
Article has been twice amended. First, in 1882, increasing the 
possible gift to one-third in full ownership, and then in 1916, so 
as to allow a donation to the second husband or wife to the same 
extent as to any other person. 

Another Article of the Code (1753) also applied to husband 
and wife and provided that where a spouse who married again 
and had children by a former spouse, property coming to that 
spouse from the deceased spouse or from the children of the mar- 
riage should by subsequent marriage revert to the surviving chil- 
dren of the marriage, the surviving spouse in such a case having 
only the usufruct after the second marriage. 

This law, which has since been repealed, worked endless 
hardships, a case now being under advisement before the Su- 
preme Court where children are suing to recover property sold 
by their mother which she inherited from other children, many 
years ago. 

Under the Inheritance Tax Law of 1906, the rate of taxation 
was less for ascendants and descendants than for collaterals and 
strangers and in the Succession of ^Baker, 129th La., page 74, the 
Supreme Court held that the wife or husband was to be consid- 
ered on the same footing as a stranger regarding the rate of 

The inequity of this construction was apparent and in 1912 
the wife was placed on the same footing as children and ascen- 
dants and this plan is followed in the Constitution of 1921. 

I simply cite these three instances, and there are others, to 
show that there arc provisions in the law applicable alike to the 
husband and wife and to widows and widowers. 

The Civil Code of Louisiana is based on the project of the 
Code Napoleon which Code is the basis of the substantive law of 
Continental Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceanica, the Islands of the 
Seas, (including the West Indies), excepting Jamaica and other 
British possessions, Hawaii and Newfoundland, but including 
Mexico, Central and South America and the province of Quebec, 
Canada, besides permeating the law of Scotland and many of the 

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Rights of Women in Louisidna 439 

States of this Union which were first governed by the laws of 

It must be admitted that the original code of Louisiana was 
against second marriages for in addition to the two instances 
above quoted, Article 137 says : 

"The wife shall not be at liberty to contract another 
marriage, except ten months after the dissolution of the pre- 
ceding marriage; 

the purpose of the law being to prevent a child from having two 
fathers. The Supreme Court has held this law to be without 
effect, because it contains no prohibition. (Succession of Benton, 
106th Louisiana, page 703), and a marriage contracted before 
the time fixed is legal and valid. It is perfectly apparent, how- 
ever, that no person having the authority to celebrate marriage, 
should do so in violation of this law. 

I have henrd it repeatedly stated that the wife had no testa- 
mentary power without the consent of her husband, but on this 
point, Article 135 of the Civil Code is worthy of quotation. It 
reads as follows : 'The wife may make her last will without the 
authority of her husband," provided she be over sixteen years of 

Wedding presents belong to the wife and not to the husband, 
even though they may have be6n given by the husband's friends 
and to him. (Allen vs. Segrave, No. 30,711, Division "B" Civil 
District Court, decided January 16, 1894.) 

Later, this question was again before the Civil District 
Court, and. was decided in the same way, when in the matter of 
George P. Lambert vs. Anna A. D'Hemecourt, his wife. No. 128,- 
298, Division "D" of the doclcet of the Court, on November 4, 
1919, Judge Porter Parker, presiding therein, refused an injunc- 
tion asked by the husband in the suit, which was for divorce, to 
restrain the wife from selling the wedding presents. 

Usually, as we know, wedding presents, particularly when 
they are of money or of great value, are generally given by the 
parents or near relatives of the bride, and so well is the woman 
protected as to those that wedding presents are not subject to 
what in our law is known as **Collation." In Louisiana we have 
the law of forced heirship and equality of inheritance, so that 
advances made to one child, unless given as a separate portion, 

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440 The Louisiana Historical Qvxirterly 

must be accounted for in the settlement of the estate of the donor, 
and may be reduced or entirely annulled if they exceed the dis* 
posable portion, but wedding presents are not subject to this law 
unless they exceed the disposable portion, and thus again is the 
woman protected. (Civil Code, 1244.) 

In Louisiana "by dowry is meant the effects which the wife 
brings to the husband to support the expenses of marriage." 
(Civil Code, Article 2337), and